GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization has rejected as “irresponsible” allegations that swine flu is a fake pandemic. WHO also dismissed claims it colluded with drug companies to bring economic benefit to the industry by playing up the danger of the new H1N1 influenza strain. WHO officials met Tuesday with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe after the watchdog body questioned whether the U.N.’s health agency acted under undue influence.
Spokesman Gregory Hartl says WHO has always been “very measured and sober” in describing the outbreak as causing overwhelmingly mild disease. Hartl said Monday that from a scientific point of view “this is plainly a pandemic and for people to not describe it as a pandemic is irresponsible.”