Dialogbuch trustWHO, Stand 15.11.16, Kontakt: lilian@oval.media         


 Lilian. Lilian nur für Kino (für Fernsehen Alternativtext).

 Lilian nur für TV: Weglassen für Kino




Pete Myers


How many of you have family or close friends with cancer or who have experienced cancers? Put up your hands. What about diabetes? How about infertility? Family or close friends. Now I want those of you who put their hand up at least once to put it up again. For any of those questions… and look around you.

Lilian Franck


Today every third person develops cancer. Who will it be?






Done ... wup. That's it. Plaster on it. Fine! That's it.

News report


The World Health Organisation recommends immunisation against measles, rubella, polio hepatitis B, pneumococcal, rotavirus, tuberculosis…

News Report 2


Opponents of vaccination describe side-effects such as autism, diabetes, asthma, multiple sclerosis,epilepsy, narcolepsy…

News Report 3


According to WHO, children should consume no more than six teaspoons daily of added sugar.

News Report 4


Recommendations of the WHO influence governments around the world.

Angela Merkel


Health is a human right.



Because if we want to protect Americans from Ebola here at home, we have to end it over there. H1N1, SARS, MERS.

Margaret Chan


Universal health coverage is the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer. We will not let the people down.

Radio broadcast


The World Health Organisation, known as WHO, has its headquarters in Geneva. Here it determines the medical norms which are applied around the world. But this special United Nations organisation with around 7000 members displays increasingly serious weaknesses, particularly during crisis interventions.

Alison Katz


But after Fukushima, I think, you can see that everyone knows that there's a kind of official and high level cover up and the WHO is involved in it.

Text board

10.02.40 Trust WHO

Lilian Franck



I'm a filmmaker, I have a daughter, it is important to me that she finds the world in good condition. That is why I'm travelling to the WHO headquarters in Geneva. The American journalist Robert Parsons lives here. For 20 years now he's been writing about the WHO.

Robert Parsons:


Until a few years ago every Monday the opening day of the World Health Assembly there was a presumptuous reception at the WHO, given by the Director General. That was the great centrepiece, where everybody met and talked and it was a very good situation for pulling everybody together in an informal setting.



Now more than ever that sort of thing has been replaced by private receptions and they are organised by industry.



I am particularly pleased to have two ministers of health…

Robert Parsons:


And the industry spends a lot of money. For them it is just part of the cost of doing business. It’s a way of making direct contact with the people who, back in their home countries, are making the decisions to formulate and implement public health policy.

Text board


1948, creation of the World Health Organisation.




Suffering of millions of human beings in scores of countries will be alleviated and many, many thousands of lives will be saved.

TV broadcast


When it was founded, the World Health Organisation featured 61 member states and was financed from their contributions.

TV Broadcast 2



WHO has positively changed everything. Smallpox was completely eradicated, which was the first time ever that a disease was wiped out…

TV Broadcast 3


The world saved each year 1000 million dollars on vaccines and care of the sick alone.

Lilian Franck



According to Robert Parsons, the WHO is infiltrated by the industry from the very start.

Robert Parsons:


Here. This one’s in English. This was in the San Francisco Examiner. Anyway, WHO was not happy with my coverage because it made them look less than good.

Lilian Franck




Ever since the 1950s, studies have shown that smoking damages health. But for decades the WHO does little to oppose the tobacco industry.



How often does your job call you out of bed in the middle of the night? Well, if you were a doctor it would be often. And generally, there isn’t much time to spare.




Doctor 1


Doctor 2


Doctor 1


Doctor 2


Doctor 1


Coffee, doctor?


Oh, fine!


Have a Camel with your coffee.




You know, this night work is kind of rough, isn’t it?


That’s right. But a Camel is always a pleasure.

Lilian Franck



The majority of politicians take no action against tobacco advertising for decades.

Helmut Schmidt:


No matter what you think about tobacco advertising it doesn't concern Brussels!

Lilian Franck



Nothing is done to check the profits of the tobacco industry until charges are brought against it by its victims and the USA. Gradually the tobacco companies are obliged to publish their internal documents.

Lilian Franck



Their strategies to combat the WHO are made public. One example is the Boca Raton action plan from the year 1988. Senior figures at Philip Morris met in Florida and drew up a number of sophisticated strategies to limit the power of the WHO. The first and most important aim. This organisation has extraordinary influence on government and consumers and we must find a way to diffuse this.

Lilian Franck



The WHO gets under pressure.

Thomas Zeltner:


The evidence show that tobacco companies had operated for many years with the deliberate purpose of subverting the efforts of WHO to control tobacco.

Thomas Zeltner:


The tobacco industry founded institutes and bought scientists who would represent their position. And they made sure their own names didn't appear anywhere. So the organisations were called things that wouldn't make you suspect they were really representing the tobacco industry.

Lilian Franck




One of these institutes is led by the American lawyer Paul Dietrich. Philip Morris finances it with $240,000 a year. At the same time Dietrich is a consultant for the WHO regional office in America. When his double role becomes known, Dietrich moves into the finance industry.

Lilian Franck



He won't agree to talk to me. And the WHO report on the strategies of the tobacco industry, 6 other consultants are mentioned. The British toxicologist Frank Sullivan for instance, claims that passive smoking doesn't harm your health. His study on the subject is financed by Philip Morris.

Lilian Franck



In the year 2000, Sullivan's collaboration with the tobacco industry becomes public, but still continues to advise the WHO. I meet with two department leaders combating tobacco under the auspices of the WHO.

Douglas Bettcher




Lilian Franck


Douglas Bettcher


We have a zero tolerance approach as I said the Director General says, the tobacco industry is our number 1 enemy and we wear that badge very proudly.


Is Frank Sullivan still a WHO consultant?


Absolutely not I mean... They can't because the names of all those persons are well known through the documents.

Lilian Franck



Douglas Bettcher


But did Frank Sullivan consult to WHO in for example 2002 let's say?


Not that I'm aware of as well too, and again the policies that are in place now is that all consultants no matter whether they're working in tobacco control or infectious diseases or anywhere in the organisation, have to sign a declaration of interest.

Lilian Franck



Vera da Costa e Silva



Douglas Bettcher


Lilian Franck


But this means a lot of trust. Don't you think they should be reviewed?


Trust I think that you should trust until such a day you lack trust. You cannot just start by already being suspicious about people and their capacity to do things.


That's good.


Thank you so much.

Lilian Franck


We are not alone during the conversation, three WHO staff are watching us and the press spokesman conducts the person I'm interviewing with silent gestures.

Lilian Franck:


The WHO and also Thomas Zeltner, they always say 'okay we had a problem and there were single persons who were corrupt. This was the Mr. Sullivans, Paul Dietrichs and so on. But I'm always doubting, I mean, was it really single persons and now it's over or would you say that entire segments of WHO are corrupt?

Robert Parsons:


We also have all the tobacco company documents which show how major corporations operate. And the pharmaceutical companies or the chemical companies do not operate any differently. Their obligation to their shareholders completely overwhelms any consideration of public health. These are the people that are involved in the H1N1 push.

Lilian Franck



Swine flu, or H1N1, is presented by the WHO and in the public media as a huge threat. Wrongly as it later emerges.

News report



News report 2



During the first year 258 people die of swine flu in Germany. Far fewer than in a normal flu outbreak.


If you've been diagnosed with probable or presumed 2009 H1N1 or Swine flu in recent months, you may be surprised to know this. The odds are you didn't have H1N1 flu. In fact, you probably didn't have flu at all.

Lilian Franck



Many countries including Germany, Italy, France and Great Britain concluded secret agreements with pharmaceutical companies before the Swine flu incident, which obliged them to purchase Swine flu vaccinations. But only if the WHO issued a pandemic level 6 alert.

Margaret Chan:


The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic.

Wolfgang Wodarg TV:


According to analysts, the WHO initiated spending on health measures around of $18 billion worldwide.

Wolfgang Wodarg:


Glaxo, Novartis, Sanofi... They had all launched new production programs to produce the vaccine for this pandemic. They had all made agreements with nation states. And since they had invested so much in this but couldn't sell the vaccine because there was no pandemic, and no sign of a flu outbreak – they fabricated a pandemic.

Lilian Franck



Swine flu makes considerable profits for the manufacturers of vaccines.



…in its first quarter net-profit, stating its swine flu vaccine land test for the gains. France's largest drug maker said its net profit in the quarter rose to 1,71 billion Euros, that's 2.26 billion US dollars from 1.58 billion dollars a year ago.

Lilian Franck




I tried to arrange an interview with the person responsible for Swine flu at the WHO, Keiji Fukuda, he was often on television at the time. But I get an appointment with the official press spokesman.

Gregory Hartl at a press conference


Eleven countries officially reporting 331 cases of influenza A H1N1 infection with ten deaths.

Lilian Franck:


Were you aware of the contracts between pharmaceutical companies and government?

Gregory Hartl:


We have to be aware of this, of course, you have to be aware of everything that's going on. And it is extremely easy to ... after the fact ... say 'well maybe X should not have done Y and A should not have done B.' However, think about the opposite: What would have happened had the influenza killed 50% of the people it infected, and there was no vaccine.

Germán Velásquez:


At the time of the swine flu outbreak I was WHO General Secretary in the Department of Public Health, Intellectual Property and Medication. Nobody there was afraid. I didn't know anyone at the WHO who had himself vaccinated. Including the Director-General, who told journalists in response to their questions that she hadn't had time but would get herself vaccinated later.

Lilian Franck




At the time I am pregnant and I avoid airports, crowds and all forms of travel. Public media exaggerates with words and images, the danger resulting from swine flu.

Germán Velásquez:


It was publicised around the world, that the criteria for declaring a pandemic were changed and at the same time the old guidelines vanished from the WHO website.

Lilian Franck:


Could they have declared  the pandemic level 6 also with the old definition?

Germán Velásquez:


No, because the severity, the number of deaths, would have been a factor. Since that was no longer one of the criteria, it made it easier to declare a pandemic.

Lilian Franck:


So this is ...ah...this was removed before ...ah...2009 shortly before H.1.N.1.

Gregory Hartl TV interview





I have already told you that we really have to work with the pharmaceutical industry because that they have a good solution for swine flu. For all flu types.


Yes, you certainly do that; your director of vaccines comes straight from a large French pharmaceutical company.

Marie-Paule Kieny


Of course we would like to have a vaccine tomorrow. We would have wanted to have it yesterday

Lilian Franck




In 2009, Miss Kieny is a member of the WHO Swine flu working group. Previously she had worked for the French pharmaceutical company Transgene. The press spokesman doesn't allow me to interview her, so I try to approach her directly at a conference.

Lilian Franck:


Would you have time for an interview?

Lilian Franck


I ask Miss Kieny why the criteria of severity was deleted from the definition of a pandemic phase.

Marie-Paule Kieny


There was a series of meetings between experts in order to arrive at objective criteria for declaring a pandemic. It's always difficult to talk about the severity of a disease especially at the beginning. The severity depends on the state of health of those who are infected. So the experts thought it would be better to proceed from objective criteria. Objective criteria mean that it can be proven whether transfer within the community is taking place and in how many countries this happens.

Lilian Franck


How do you feel today about that change?

Marie-Paule Kieny:


Automatic criteria like that, which can't take into account factors such as, for example, severity, are definitely too strict.

Lilian Franck:


Will that be changed again?

Marie-Paule Kieny:


Yes, definitely.

Wolfgang Wodarg:


The WHO officials have no idea about such things. They have to depend on scientists. And the scientists are allocated to them by the countries and by the organisations that finance the WHO. And many of them gave advice and made decisions that benefited the pharmaceutical industry.

Lilian Franck



The WHO working group on Swine flu consists of 13 external consultants. Two of them report conflicts of interest. Neil Ferguson declares consultancy fees from GlaxoSmithKline, Baxter and Roche, the manufacturers of the swine flu vaccines and medications. Not a problem for the WHO. In 2007, Albert Osterhaus loses his voting right on the Dutch heath commission due to his conflicts of interest. He declares to the WHO that he has shares in the pharma company Viroclinics, which is suspected of profiting from Swine flu. He also declares that he is the chairman of ESWI, describing it as a group of independent scientists. In fact, it is partly financed by vaccine manufacturers.

Albert Osterhaus:


I can tell you that there is no scientific meeting today organised that is not being sponsored by industry, and rightly so! Industry is making the vaccines, it's not the national institutes that are making the vaccines any longer. Industry is doing it.

Lilian Franck:


I'm very curious: are you still consulting WHO as an expert?

Albert Osterhaus:


At the moment I am working more with the private sector as well so I'm still consulting from time to time.

Lilian Franck:


Are you still working with the European Scientists against Influenza?

Albert Osterhaus


Yes, I'm the chair of that particular organisation.

Lilian Franck:


Because I saw that you declared this as a conflict of interest?

Albert Osterhaus:


No, no, it's not a conflict of interest, but I declare also what might be perceived as a conflict of interest.

Lilian Franck:


Okay, that's a difference.

Albert Osterhaus:


No but you have to be very careful there. So at least if you say that, and of course people can hold it against you, but at least I can always say, and I have always done that, at least you show what you do.

Lilian Franck:


It was written they're an independent group of scientists and when I looked on the website I saw that it is funded by like, all the vaccine producers...

Albert Osterhaus:


No, no, it's not funded by... Some money comes from vaccine producers, but there is money coming from many other sources as well, and that's the same with WHO and a lot of other organisations. As long as you are transparent and show what you are doing it's fine I think.

Lilian Franck:


How is the percentage of funding?

Albert Osterhaus:


I don't know exactly. But there is a substantial part of the funding ...comes from elsewhere. It comes from meetings, comes from European projects, come from... And there is a percentage coming from industry, and that's completely transparent.

Albert Osterhaus:


No, it's fine to bring it up again, but for me... for me it‘s over

Lilian Franck



I don't get any hard figures from Mr. Osterhaus afterwards either. Without any facts, without transparency, I can't make any progress here. What about the WHO?

Margaret Chan:


At the country level I hear good news and I hear bad news about engagement with non-state actors, that would...

Germán Velásquez:


At a meeting between the Director-General and prospective vaccine manufacturers most of our colleagues were excluded, including me. I was a head of department in the WHO and one of the Director-General's closest associates: an important member of staff in the organisation. On that specific day I went down to the conference room, and the person at the door said: "No, this is a private meeting." Even though I was a leading official at the WHO responsible for an important topic that was under discussion there, I wasn't allowed to enter.

Wolfgang Wodarg:


The situation was evaluated correspondingly by the Council of Europe. Reprimand was issued. The lack of transparency, the role of the experts who were being paid by the pharmaceutical industry. Then changes were demanded, but the WHO didn't respond to the Council of Europe. The WHO only turned up for the first hearing and then didn't come again. It didn't have to. It isn't obliged to supply us with any information. We can't demand to confiscate the files, look through them. It is impossible. There isn't anybody who can do those things. And there's no investigating commission like in Parliament where the MPs can go and say something has to stop and then everybody has to turn up and show their files. There's nothing like that. The WHO can operate in a very clandestine fashion.

Lilian Franck




In the case of the pharmaceutical industry, it's even more difficult for the WHO to maintain its independence than with the tobacco industry. On the one hand the WHO is dependent on the pharmaceutical industries for research and medication. But the industries financial interests mustn't damage the WHO's activities in the area of health. One thing is clear, today the pharmaceutical industry is part of the health system, just like the governments that control the WHO.

Lilian Franck:


Politics and industry: where are developments moving today?

Wolfgang Wodarg:


We are going through a period of deregulation which means the work of the state is being cut back and state tasks are being privatised. So now there is a huge amount of lobbying work, new areas of growth, commercial activity where there used to be state responsibility. And once it gets to that stage it's no longer necessary to bribe officials. You can simply make money from it. That's the development we're seeing at the present time.

Lilian Franck



Politics are losing power. And that's also reflected in the financing of the WHO. In the 1990s, all countries froze their membership contributions in the wake of the financial crisis.

Lilian Franck



Today UN organisations, foundations, NGOs and industry contribute almost 40 percent of the WHO's annual

Bill Gates


30 years ago in starting Microsoft there was... we had a very ambitious vision: a computer for everyone. Now I join you in seeking to archive an even more important vision, which is good health for every human being.

Lilian Franck



Today the WHO relies on voluntary contributions like that from the Gates foundation, but these are often linked to conditions.

Lilian Franck




The WHO's annual budget amounts to about 2bn dollars. Coca Cola spends twice that much on advertising alone. And the hospitals around Lake Geneva spend 6bn dollars a year.

Lilian Franck




When it was founded, the WHO could decide how to distribute its funds itself. Now 70 percent of its budget is tied to particular projects, countries or regions.

Lilian Franck



If the WHO receives funding to fight malaria for example, it can't use that money to combat Ebola.

Hermann Gröhe:


The Ebola Interim Assessment Panel put it in very precise words: At present WHO does not have the operational capacity or culture to deliver a full emergency public health response.

Lilian Franck



What does the Director General of the WHO think about that? I want to ask her what constraints she is under.

Margaret Chan:


...of a newspaper?

Lilian Franck:


No, I'm from.. ehm ...I'm doing a cinema documentary, I'm a filmmaker.

Margaret Chan:


Ok ..eh...let's discuss the date. You don't work in July/August?

Lilian Franck:


No, ehm, no August would also be possible.

Margaret Chan:


July, August, whatever, is not so hectic. July and ...

Lilian Franck:


What is better for you. Ok then I will adapt myself.

Text Board


November 17th

We explore, if it is possible to speak to Margaret Chan during the first half of the year.

Text board



June 30th

As I said earlier, we will check if the interview is possible.

Text board


July 20th

We still have no decision on the interview.

Test board


August 10th

I do not have any news; many people are gone in August. We will let you know when we do.

Lilian Franck




Since I can't get to speak to Margaret Chan, I meet one of her close advisors.

Gaudenz Silberschmidt:


I think it's simply a wrong perception to think there can be an external, independent review. Because then you have to say 'who is selecting these independent experts? And who is controlling their independence? And who is controlling the independence of those controlling the independence?' There is no external entity as such 'independent'.

Patti Rundall:


Of course he is right, but he is wrong. You know, he is mixing everything up, because this world is as it is and you have to do what you can to make sure that the independence of the science is as good as possible. It will never ever be perfect. He is quite right about that. But he should be talking about his own, I mean he is from Switzerland, he came straight from Switzerland which is a country that is completely locked in to a partnership approach. And he is in charge of partnerships at WHO. So I know, Gaudenz was very keen that any companies could come in as long as it was 'transparent', he didn't mind.

Japanese kids





Japanses kids


Japanese boy


The radiation is in the gaps.




The radiation is in these cracks.


This is a measuring device. It measures the radiation. Because it's so high.

News report


Fukushima city this morning. The Health Commission is meeting the Prefecture in this hotel. They are presenting new figures about alterations in children's thyroid glands. Over a year and a half after the nuclear catastrophe. The chairman of the commission is Prof Yamashita. Over 42% of the children displayed nodules or cysts. After Chernobyl the corresponding figure was between 0.5% and 1%, as measured at the time by Prof Yamashita. But what surprises us much more is that none of the relevant experts are asking about the causes of these high figures.

Lilian Franck


Professor Yamashita is contributing to the trivialisation of the risk of radioactive contamination in public.

Professor Yamashita on TV


If you laugh, the radiation doesn't have any effect. If you don't laugh, it has an effect. This theory has been proven in animal experiments.

Lilian Franck


Yamashita works together with the WHO in cases of nuclear catastrophe. Is the WHO downplaying the dangers of nuclear radiation? Is it for example, keeping silent about a rise in thyroid cancer? It's difficult to find anybody who is allowed to talk. The mayor of Matsumoto, Akira Sugenoya, is also a doctor and has founded a convalescence camp for children from contaminated areas.

Dr Akira Sugenoya



Dr Akira Sugenoya


In particular, pregnant women, mothers who are breastfeeding, and children can develop long-term damage due to contact with radiation after the catastrophe. In order to protect the lives of the children in particular I have advocated taking measures to transfer them to safe regions.

Dr Akira Sugenoya


Since the attitude of the government was that iodine wasn't necessary no official instructions for taking iodine tablets were issued. In interviews I have said that people should take the tablets anyway.

Newspaper report


Dr Sugenoya warns that Fukushima has caused thyroid cancer.

Newspaper report


Radiation also a problem in the future.

Newspaper report


Mistakes made at Chernobyl should not be repeated!

Lilian Franck


As a result of experience after Chernobyl, the WHO recommendations for issuing iodine were revised in the year 1999 under the supervision of the British scientist Keith Baverstock, a member of staff at the WHO.

Keith Baverstock:


When I started my programme with WHO within a few weeks I learned that there was a claim that there was a large number of thyroid cancers in children. And this ended up in a mission to Minsk. We saw an astonishing number of children who'd been operated for thyroid cancer, quite young children. So to see as we did on that day possibly I think it was eleven or twelve, maybe, cases in one place at one time all having been operated. It was really quite extraordinary. We took it from there and with our Belarussian colleagues published two short papers in the journal 'Nature' to draw attention to it. After the papers were published WHO asked me to withdraw the paper from 'Nature'.

Lilian Franck:



Keith Baverstock:


A paper published with about five or six other people. All agreeing on this position. And Kreisel asked me to withdraw that paper from publication. After it had been published.

Lilian Franck:


Who worked Kreisel, who worked at WHO...?

Keith Baverstock:


Geneva, yes. He threatened me.

Lilian Franck:


How did he threaten you?

Keith Baverstock:


With my career. He said your career will be shortened, if you don't do this.

Lilian Franck:


And was it shortened?

Keith Baverstock:



Lilian Franck:


I wonder why in Fukushima iodine wasn't distributed.

Keith Baverstock:


I don't know. I don't know. They should have been giving it, yes. Yeah. They don't like to cause panic.

News reporter


Experts commissioned by the government conclude that dangers were underestimated. In addition, they criticise the crisis management procedure after the reactor accident. They also claim that Tepco attempted to conceal the real extent of the incident and that the government, under the then Prime Minister Naoto Kan, did not inform the public adequately.

Lilian Franck:


Did you have any contact with WHO after the Tepco accident?

Naoto Kan


Of course there was contact, at least I think so. The various departments instigated communications. I don't remember exactly the details of the contact that was made. Naturally various channels were used to maintain contact. We know today that radioactivity emerged several days after the accident. But at the time of the accident it was assumed that wasn't the case. That was the view issued by both Tepco and the experts. As a result, unfortunately, no measures could be taken initially. And it wasn't possible to issue iodine to all the children affected. That's one of the things I regret most.

Lilian Franck




00:50:36:22 --> 00:50:40:21

I still find it beyond belief that Naoto Kan was convinced at the time that no radioactivity would emerge after the accident. Just one day after the accident a monitoring station of the organisation CTBTO recorded raised levels of radioactivity 200km from the nuclear power station.



Ms Kokoro Kamyama please.






Date of birth?


Was anything found last time?

Kokoro Kamyama:


No, I don't think so.



Where were you at the time of the accident?

Kokoro Kamyama:


On 11th March I was in Fukushima. During the summer holidays I moved house.



But after the accident, after the summer holidays, you were in Fukushima the whole time?

Kokoro Kamyama:





I can see something …in the thyroid gland, about 5 mm in size.

Dr Kaoru Konta


I went to a number of conferences in Fukushima, because I was very concerned about the effects of the radiation. Everywhere they kept on saying it's safe. So I decided to go to Belarus to discover the truth. The data I was allowed to see in Belarus showed very clearly that cancer rates have risen constantly since Chernobyl. And are still rising. On the basis of the data, I'm sure that the problem will also become more serious in Fukushima.

Naoto Kan:


Some specialists say there is a rise in cases of thyroid cancer. Others say that no rise can be ascertained at the moment. That's my understanding of the situation at present.

Lilian Franck



But who is right?

Naoto Kan:


I personally think there is a danger, and I am concerned about it. I can say that publicly now because I'm no longer Prime Minister of Japan.

Lilian Franck:


Yeah, what do you think today about iodine intake after a nuclear accident?

Gregory Hartl:


Well again, it was more or less what I said in the video.

Gregory Hartl interview


People are not taking iodine as of the moment. The Japanese authorities have not said that that should be done. They have distributed iodine tablets as preposition but they have not asked anyone to take them. Taking iodine tablets in the absence of iodine radiation is actually bad for you.

Gregory Hartl:


You need to match iodine, taking iodine, to the exposure.

Lilian Franck:


I understand, but from today's point of view: Was the exposure given at that time in most affected areas or not?

Gregory Hartl:


You know, again: that's almost five years ago and I can't remember the process from day to day. And certainly we would have adapted, though, our recommendations based on the information we were getting.

Lilian Franck:


But there are these guidelines and it's written in here: you should take iodine within the first six hours after a nuclear accident. That's in here and it's also clear that it was not given in Fukushima. That's also a fact. I mean, that's something you don't have to look up. it's obvious.

Gregory Hartl:


Ok. I really think you are wasting your time on this topic as I only have till 12 o’clock...

Lilian Franck:


Is it that you can't say something critical about the Japanese government?

Gregory Hartl:


I... WHO work on a basis of facts. And if I don't have the facts and the information at my fingertips, I'm not going to speculate.

Lilian Franck:


Yeah. But in general is it possible for WHO to criticise nations?

Gregory Hartl:


I'm.. look I'm not going to say anything more about this. Why should I say anything more?

Lilian Franck:


No, this was a general question, not in relation to Fukushima.

Gregory Hartl:


Well, let's move on to another topic.

Lilian Franck:


Ok. Is it getting more difficult for you? With all the... WHO losing trust of ..?

Gregory Hartl:


Who says WHO has lost trust? Is that you?

Alison Katz:


I am Alison Katz. I worked for the World Health Organisation myself for 18 years and since I have left I have been involved with 'Independent WHO', which works in the area of radiation and health. And we have been in front of the World Health Organisation headquarters in Geneva for seven years now. And it is a permanent, peaceful protest. So that the world understands, that somebody is witnessing the victims of radiation, which includes almost everybody.

Allison Katz


The Japanese people are already talking. And they are reporting very, you know, very serious health effects in children that the World Health Organisation is ignoring, is not talking about, doesn't mention in its report. You know... at the time of Chernobyl the people couldn't talk freely.

Allison Katz:


The 'New York Academy of Science' book, this one, comes up with an estimate of 985.000 deaths, but that is worldwide between 1986 and 2004. And of course that makes a dramatic contrast with what the establishment says, which is still around 50 deaths and possibly 4000 cancers. As a final total. The other major omission is that the World Health Organisation has never considered anything except cancer as a health effect.

Boy 1


I was diagnosed with a heart defect when I was three months old.

Boy 2:


I have already had three heart attacks.



I have been sick since I was seven.



How old are you now?






What sickness do you have?



Systemic collagenosis.



What hurts you?



My heart.

Lilian Franck:


But since Tschernobyl we know that there are other diseases.

Gregory Hartl:


What other diseases?

Lilian Franck:


Unfortunately, yeah for example... let me look. It's cardio-vascular diseases, infertility, thyroid diseases other than cancer. There's a book, maybe you heard about it, of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Gregory Hartl:


Which was repudiated by the New York Academy of Sciences, because it's so unsound.

Lilian Franck:


But that's not true.

Gregory Hartl:


Yes. If you read the Acade... the statement from the New York Academy of Sciences in 2011 or 12 they repudiated the book. Let me give you this, this is from the 'Journal of Radiology' ...

Lilian Franck:


Oh, thank you. Ok, I...

Gregory Hartl:


... and it's a review of the New York Academy of Sciences book, which talks about all the flaws in it.

Lilian Franck:


Ok. So I should also give you something. A book review by Independent WHO

Gregory Hartl:


Lilian Franck:


Ok, we read this and then we meet again?

Lilian Franck:


Hello, this is Lilian Franck. What does it mean exactly? Did the New York of Sciences repudiate the Chernobyl book?

Lilian Franck



The editor tells me that the Academy never repudiated the book. He permits me to record the phone call, but later he withdraws his permission. Isn't he able to speak freely either?

Lilian Franck



Perhaps the publisher of the Chernobyl book can help me.

Janette Sherman (telephone)


Good morning!

Lilian Franck


Good morning.

Janette Sherman (telephone)


Ehm, the original contact person at the New York Academy of Sciences, you know, agreed to publish the book. And then there was a big to-do at the New York Academy and they did not think it was a good idea. And I suspected they were pressured by the nuclear industry, but I don't know for sure.

Lilian Franck



How big is the influence of the nuclear industry?

Lilian Franck



The international Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, wants to promote the safe and peaceful use of atomic energy.

Yukiya Amano:


Nuclear power will remain an important and viable option for many countries as a stable and clear source of energy.

Lilian Franck



The WHO is concerned with health. These are different priorities but the two organisations are working closely together.

Lilian Franck



For example, together with other UN organisations they are compiling a report about the health consequences of Chernobyl.

Lilian Franck:


This is your place. I, ehm..

Ian Fairlie:


I'm a critic of WHO and they tended not to invite critics for their two reports, one on health and one on environment.

Ian Fairlie:


The thing was there would be a whole series of informal meetings going on between WHO and IAEA at quite senior levels, very senior levels. And they would predetermine what the line they would take. That's why they had a WHO stroke IAEA meeting in Vienna in 2005, in October 2005, to put the line across. This is it. This is what we are going to do. The trouble was that many, many people came opposed to all of this.

Lilian Franck



Maria Neira works at the WHO. She is responsible for the risks of radioactive contamination. I deliberately make an appointment to see her in Paris. The press department won't get in the way here. To make sure she agrees to see me, I don't tell her what I want to talk about until we first meet.

Maria Neira:


Concerning Chernobyl, there is a group saying that there have been one million deaths, that WHO is hiding. Come on, one million deaths. Come on. Seriously.

Lilian Franck:


Yeah, but this because they looked at the broader...

Maria Neira:


One million deaths? And then the humanity will not... I mean, one million! This is...

Lilian Franck:


Yeah but this because they were looking at a broader part of the world population.

Maria Neira:


Yeah, but one million deaths. You think you can hide one million deaths?

Lilian Franck:


But ... yeah but do you seriously think...

Maria Neira:


Which records, you have mortality records.

Lilian Franck:


How can you seriously believe that Chernobyl accident caused 50 deaths?

Maria Neira:


No, we didn't say that.

Lilian Franck:


But it's still on the WHO website.

Ian Fairlie:


So we wrote the other report. And the initials are T-O-R-C-H, which is TORCH. We said right away that we expected somewhere between 30 and 60.000 altogether worldwide future deaths. Because the plume from Chernobyl went right round the world. The northern hemisphere. And whilst the concentrations were low far, far away, it doesn't matter, because there were many, many millions of people. There are 600 million people in Europe alone and they were all affected.

WHO report


The World Health Organisation of the United Nations also does not consider there to be any danger to people outside the affected region within the Soviet Union.

Newspaper report


WHO report: Only slight increase in risk of cancer after Fukushima

Newspaper report


Report: Fukushima’s radiation damaged more souls than bodies

Newspaper report


Meltdown: Despite the fear, the health risks from the Fukushima accident are minimal

Maria Neira:


We were not using cancer mortality figures but rather incidents is because, as you know, most of the cancers can now be treated and therefore they were not mortality associated.

Maria Neira:


I don't know whether you have noticed, but our health risk assessment is only with the logo of WHO.

Lilian Franck:


But I mean if one third of the experts belonged to IAEA?

Maria Neira:


This is kind of anticipating that those experts from IAEA are not on the best of their science, which is the case. I don't think they were there to represent any interests.

Lilian Franck:


I mean it was criticised that there was no oncologist or no radiobiologist, also no scientist who published critical articles on health effects of nuclear energy.

Maria Neira:


But when you need to do a scientific report it's not a question bringing an activist from the left wing, an activist from the right wing. It's a question of science. What happens is that there are groups outside that they want to use those accidents to say 'you see nuclear energy is..is bad, is...is dangerous, why we don't stop the use of the nuclear energy? Which is a different cause.

Lilian Franck:


Do you think it could also be the other way around, that nuclear industry tries to not to tell the whole truth about the health impacts?

Maria Neira:


We are there, we are doing the best we can. And with the support of everybody who recognises that there is a need for a global public health... very heavy institution - heavy, but in the good sense - I mean with weight institution and powerful institution, it will be the best for all of us. And I will fight for that for the rest of my life. I'm a convinced public health officer, and I think I’m correct with it, that if we need to fight I'm not afraid.

German Velasquez:


In an industrialised world, the industrial powers want any international health organisation to be weak.

Thomas Zeltner:


The World Health Organisation is in a very fragile situation with regard to its financing.

Wolfgang Wodarg:


The WHO is under financial pressure because for many of the countries involved economic interests are more important than health interests, even if they claim the opposite.

Wolfgang Wodarg:


And that's criminal, because people die as a result.

Pete Myers:


A scientist in the United States this past spring made the observation that this generation of children is the first generation in modern history that is not going to be as healthy as their parents. That should not be.

Lilian Franck



What do I do with this knowledge now? Go out on the streets together with independent WHO, or just go home again? Am I at the end now? Is there any real end? Margaret Chan carries on.

Zulfikar G. Abbany:


Right, ehm.. it's over to you folks. Who would like to start the round of questions? Thank you.

Lilian Franck:


Is it on? Do you hear me? Yeah, ok. Lilian Franck, OVALmedia. It's a question to Dr. Chan: We just learned that refugee health, AMR and climate change are huge global challenges. But I'm asking myself: How can we meet them if WHO is constantly losing power? Important donor nations, they want a weak WHO. One could even compare WHO to Titanic, I would say. So isn't it your responsibility, Dr. Chan, to step down before the end of your second term in order to signal to the world that your organisation, your ship is sinking?

Margaret Chan:


You ask an excellent question. If I tell you WHO as an organisation, only 30% of my budget is predictable funds. Other 70% I have to take a hat and go around the world to beg for money. And when they give us the money, they are highly linked to their preferences, what they like. It may not be the priority of WHO. So if we do not solve this, you know, we are not going to be as great as we were.




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