Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the new director general of the World Health Organization (WHO). With a $4 billion annual budget, WHO’s decisions affects us all and its decisions also affect the bottom line of some of the most powerful corporations on the planet.
Health is political. And health is big business. For instance, WHO makes dietary and nutrition recommendations that can affect the likes of Nestle, Unilever, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, General Mills and Kellogg’s. WHO devises a list of essential medicines that governments should stock for the health of their people, thereby affecting the sales of major pharmaceutical companies. It also helps other UN agencies procure billions of dollars of pharmaceutical products by vetting manufacturers to ensure they meet WHO standards and specifications.
WHO wants to place restrictions on the use of antibiotics in food and livestock production, and it also reviews scientific evidence to appraise the cancer-risk of agricultural chemicals, including Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup and Dow’s 2,4-D.
As you might imagine, WHO recommendations can have massive ramifications for big corporations, which can fight tooth and nail to attack and discredit any WHO decision that could damage their strategic market positions and financial bottom line. And this is exactly what we are witnessing right now as Monsanto battles to protect is multi-billion-dollar money spinner Roundup with yet another smear campaign, this time against US toxicologist Dr Christopher Portier. Given what happened to Seralini and his team’s study, it’s all highly predictable.
Rosemary Mason writes to the WHO
Due the pivotal role of WHO, Dr Rosemary Mason has contacted Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus through an open letter expressing major concerns about role of transnational agrochemical/agritech corporations and the impacts of their products on human health and the environment.
With the focus clearly on Monsanto, Mason brings to the attention of Ghebreyesus the many lawsuits filed against the company alleging that Roundup causes cancer. These cases have forced Monsanto to reveal emails that show it employed ghost-writing, used scientists as paid lobbyists and targeted those that produced evidence that challenged the company in order to keep Roundup, its flagship herbicide, on the market by fraudulent science.
More than 250 lawsuits are pending against Monsanto in US District Court in San Francisco, filed by people alleging that exposure to Roundup herbicide caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma and that Monsanto covered up the risks (Roundup is linked to cancers of the bone, colon, kidney, liver, melanoma, pancreas and thyroid). Additionally, at least 1,100 plaintiffs have made similar claims against Monsanto in state courts, and US attorneys recently came to the European Union with two plaintiffs to support the Members of the European Parliament in their Public Hearing on The Monsanto Papers and glyphosate.