(NaturalNews) Several members of the Emergency Committee expert panel that advised the World Health Organization (WHO) during the swine flu pandemic have come forward admitting connections to the drug industry. A recent report revealed that five of the fifteen members on the panel had received some type of financial support from pharmaceutical companies either during or prior to the pandemic.
During the outbreak, WHO had concealed the names of these members to allegedly protect them from public pressure, but WHO denies allegations that panel member connections to drug companies were conflicts of interests.
Some experts expressed concern that panel member connections to the drug industry played a role in helping them to secure large orders for vaccines around the world, especially since these members had received funding from drug companies specifically for pandemic flu research.
Nancy Cox, a panel member from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted to receiving financial support from the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) for flu vaccine research, for instance. And Professor Arnold Monto, another panel member, revealed that he consults with major drug companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche, Baxter and Sanofi Pasteur.
But WHO denies any foul play, insisting that these connections "do not give rise to a conflict of interest such that the experts concerned should be partially or totally excluded from participation in the Emergency Committee".