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Council of Europe calls for WHO flu handling probe

Council of Europe calls for WHO flu handling probe 24 Jun 2010 The Council of Europe called Thursday for a probe into the World Health Organisation's handling of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak, which it said led to unjustified scares and waste of public money. A council parliamentary assembly identified "grave shortcomings" about WHO transparency about its position on the flu, "generating concerns about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on decisions taken," a statement said. The session adopted a text that says there was "overwhelming evidence that the seriousness of the pandemic was vastly overrated by WHO". Paul Flynn, British author of a report endorsed by the assembly, told the session that the WHO's June 11, 2009 declaration of a H1N1 pandemic had enabled the pharmaceutical industry to reap large profits.