A leading health expert said the swine flu scare was a “false pandemic” led by drug companies that stood to make billions from vaccines, The Sun reported Monday.
Wolfgang Wodarg, head of health at the Council of Europe, claimed major firms organized a “campaign of panic” to put pressure on the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic.
He believes it is “one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century,” and he has called for an inquiry.
An emergency debate on the issue will be held by the Council of Europe later this month.
The Council of Europe covers 47 European countries and seeks to develop common and democratic principles between the nations.
Wodarg said, “It’s just a normal kind of flu. It does not cause a tenth of deaths caused by the classic seasonal flu.
“The great campaign of panic we have seen provided a golden opportunity for representatives from labs who knew they would hit the jackpot in the case of a pandemic being declared.
“We want to clarify everything that brought about this massive operation of disinformation. We want to know who made decisions, on the basis of what evidence, and precisely how the influence of the pharmaceutical industry came to bear on the decision-making.”
He added: “A group of people in the WHO is associated very closely with the pharmaceutical industry.”
The WHO recently reaffirmed its stance that the pandemic is not over. However, the number of swine flu deaths is dramatically lower than expected.
In an interview with France’s L’Humanite Sunday, Wodarg also raised concerns about swine flu vaccines.
“The vaccines were developed too quickly. Some ingredients were insufficiently tested,” he said.
“But there is worse to come. The vaccine developed by Novartis was produced in a bioreactor from cancerous cells, a technique that had never been used until now.
“This was not necessary. It has also led to a considerable mismanagement of public money.
“The time has come at last for us to make demands on governments. The purpose of the inquiry is to prevent more false alarms of this type in the future.”
“We must make sure people can rely on the analysis and the expertise of national and international public institutions. The latter are now discredited, because millions of people have been vaccinated with products with inherent possible health risks.”