Wednesday

Who is surprised by Nestle's gift to WHO???

Like an owl screeching in the dark, I hear the who of WHO.  I am baffled and bemused by the headlines crossing the Virtual from one media blog to another to various breastfeeding organizations.  This is news??  Hm, where has everyone been the last few years and even longer than the last few years?  Other organizations and blogs have recognized that the WHO is getting funding from industry.  But we, breastfeeding advocates are always the last to find this out?  Oh yes, we now have it in black and white, Nestle is gifting the WHO with $150,000 to fight obesity.  How many Kit-Kat bars will that be???

My bafflement by this "news" reported by the breastfeeding community had me scrambling the internet.  Why is this news to everyone??  I really don't get it.  Just a quick scan of the internet and I found various articles discussing WHO and how it had sold out to various industries...some dated in 2009.  In the year 2000, I got the picture pretty fast that some wheeling and dealing had to be going on with WHO and industry.  No, it was not written in black and white but it was pretty damn obvious.  For those skeptics, there is a blog article
written by Jennifer Sass of the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council staff) dated in February 2011 and entitled, "ILSI and the World Health Organization hold closed-door meeting on chemical assessment."  She writes, "Why would the World Health Organization (WHO) be co-sponsoring a workshop this past week, in Paris with ILSI?  One that isn't open to the public?"  She explains that ILSI (International Life Sciences Institute) is a global trade organization mainly funded by industry.

There are other articles written over the years about WHO and the pharmaceutical industry.  So I suppose that we are to believe that everyone in the breastfeeding community believed that the WHO somehow was not involved with the infant formula industry in the same way it was involved with the chemical and pharmaceutical industries?  Hm, maybe breastfeeding advocates should take a very hard look at HIV/AIDS policy in the past decade?  Or maybe not, because it can make your heart sink to the floor.

The world right now is being guided and subverted by the needs and wants of that person we call in the US--The Corporation.  Private meeting between government/non-profit organizations and industry spells trouble with a capital "T."   Obviously, things have gotten so blatant that the WHO and Nestle feel that they can make their deals public.  But you know, this isn't news.  It's been brewing for a long time.  And, I would say that the very nature of it being public means that at the very least Nestle feels they are unstoppable.

The key question is how does an organization like the WHO sell out?  How did this evolve?  Is it that our world has become unwilling to allow individuals to ask questions about organizations?  Does funding matter in research and with our representatives in governments?  Why are critics silenced?

We, as a world, need more views, more discussions.  Yet, we are moving towards less discussions and silencing anyone who dares express an alternative view.  How organizations are funded and how our policy makers are funded is important.  Yet our world seems so corrupt that one feels helpless in the face of such unethical behaviors.  Feeling helpless only breeds an apathy that is self-destructive.

So write emails, help make these organizations become aware that their decisions impact you and your family and your country.  Yeah, I am tired of writing and emailing and yeah I am just tired.  But just one more email, eh??  Just one more letter.  Just one more blog post....
Copyright 2012 Valerie W. McClain

PS:
BMJ of February 2007, "Who's funding WHO?"
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1801033/ 

globalhealthpolicy.net
http://www.globalhealthpolicy.net/?p=826


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