Bureau of Investigative Journalism publishes swine flu report with BMJ and Al Jazeera

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, officially launched in April, has completed its first investigation working with the British Medical Journal and Al Jazeera English.

It investigates conflicts of interest surrounding the World Health Organisation declaring a swine flu pandemic in June 2009 and its scientific advisors who also stand to gain from drug companies who make money manufacturing vaccines.

The BMJ says it has:

“…uncovered evidence that raises troubling questions about how WHO managed conflicts of interest among the scientists who advised its pandemic planning, and about the transparency of the science underlying its advice to governments.

“Was it appropriate for WHO to take advice from experts who had declarable financial and research ties with pharmaceutical companies producing antivirals and influenza vaccines?

“Why was key WHO guidance authored by an influenza expert who had received payment for other work from Roche, manufacturers of oseltamivir, and GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturers of zanamivir?

“And why does the composition of the emergency committee from which Chan sought guidance remain a secret known only to those within WHO? We are left wondering whether major public health organisations are able to effectively manage the conflicts of interest that are inherent in medical science.”

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