Aren't they supposed to give healthy advice about tanning?
According to their Home-page on Internet, “WHO [World Health Organization] is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.”
Yet recently we have seen one clear example, and further down you will see another one, of how WHO’s recommendations might not be based on what is best for the health of the world’s population but rather on what is best for some pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies.
[UPDATE: Here is an excellent article describing more in detail the level of corruption within WHO. After having read it and even if it refers mainly to the H1H1 “Swine flu pandemic”, you can quite easily draw the parallels to WHO's work for the cosmetic companies that are the inventors and sponsors of the sun-scare. Download the article in .pdf-format here: Politics and corruption in WHO]
The “Swine Flu pandemic”.
A new report, published in British Medical Journal, reveals that the top scientists, who convinced the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare H1N1 a global pandemic, held close financial ties to the drug companies that profited from the sale of those vaccines. This report exposes the hidden ties that drove WHO to declare a pandemic, resulting in billions of dollars in profits for vaccine manufacturers.
The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, who is preparing their own report on WHO’s “Swine Flu” recommendations, is criticizing WHO, saying: “Parliamentary Assembly is alarmed about the way in which the H1N1 influenza pandemic has been handled, not only by the World Health Organization (WHO), but also by the competent health authorities at the level of the European Union and at national level.” It went on to explain that WHO's actions led to “a waste of large sums of public money, and also unjustified scares and fears about health risks faced by the European public at large.”
Now, let’s connect those strong indications of non-transparent habits in WHO, with their recent (Fact sheet N°287 Interim revision April 2010 “Sunbeds, tanning and UV exposure”) recommendations for use of tanning beds.
A family's dirty laundry is being washed (at least partly) for the public.
The developing scandal around the L’Oreal family fortune where the dirty laundry of the world’s largest cosmetic company is being washed publicly in courts in France has proved that L’Oreal is no stranger to the habit of “influencing” officials to do their biddings. And I am going to, if not prove, at least give some very clear evidence of their possibility to “assist” WHO in their work while creating a multi-billion dollar market for L’Oreal’s (and all their other cosmetic brand’s) sun-protection lotions.
The three groups that provide reports and statistics
The successful “black” campaign against tanning (indoors in solarium as well as outdoors under the open sun) is powered by reports from mainly three groups – the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) organized under WHO, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and European Society for Skin Cancer Prevention (EUROSKIN).
So let’s look a little bit closer on each of those organizations and from where their leading participants get their funding.
The numbers behind the names refers to the numbers in the picture below.
As presented in my previous post “The most successful “black marketing” campaign in the world?”, L’Oreal Recherché was funding the “research” made by Adéle Green1), Chairman of IARC at the time (2006) when their report about tanning beds classification as ”carcinogenic to humans” was presented.
A quick Google-search shows that J.P. Césarini2), one of the scientific chairmen of ICNIRP, is affiliated with “Fondation De Rothschild” whose director, Jean-Pierre Meyers3), also happens to be the Vice-President of L’Oreal and married to Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers4), the daughter of “the richest woman in France”, Liliane Bettencourt5), “Madame L’Oreal” herself. Césarini is by the way also connected to INSERM (see below) through his research at “Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Tumeurs de la Peau Humaine”.
Just to make things worse, the ex. president-founder and now chairman emeritus of ICNIRP, Michael Repacholi6) from Australia, has a reputation from his work for WHO on EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) from radio-transmitters, as being a consultant doing the liaison between commercial interests and WHO (http://www.iddd.de/umtsno/puzmud.htm)
Some additional “googling” reveals that the third organization mentioned in WHO’s recommendations, EUROSKIN, based in Germany, is founded (and funded) by a huge organization in France covering almost every aspect of French medicine – INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherché médicale). This sounds innocent enough until we see that one of the sponsors (and probably not the smallest!) of INSERM is “Foundation Bettencourt Schueller” the private foundation of Liliane Bettencourt in which Jean-Pierre Meyers also is a director. The first Chairman in EUROSKIN, Jean François Doré7), came from the INSERM headquarters in Lyon and the new chairman, Mathieu Boniol8 ), also from INSERM, is the statistician contributing the statistical data behind IARC’s flawed report from last year.
Common for all reports is, in addition to the witch-hunt on tanners but not surprisingly when taking into account that the authors were paid by L’Oreal, the blatant promotion of sun-protection lotions.
So we have now two striking examples on how an organization like WHO can be used as a vehicle for commercial interests that goes in opposite direction of what is WHO’s (declared) purpose.
Most Governments are like sheep (or with no own expertize – or just being lazy), but a couple stands out against the crowd.
And most governments are following the recommendations from WHO like sheep in a herd without applying their own basic research or even common sense to their decisions.
According to my knowledge only two governments in Europe have had the civil courage to speak up against WHO.
I am thinking about the Polish Minister of Health that managed to save billions of Polish tax-payers money by preventing Poland from buying the “swine-flu” vaccine recommended by WHO. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhZesZe33cw
And the second case is the Dutch government that opposed the WHO recommendation on tanning beds (see my earlier post “THE SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD OF THE DUTCH HEALTH COUNCIL CRITICIZES THE INTERNATIONAL AGENCY FOR RESEARCH ON CANCER (IARC)” (http://thetanningguru.com/dutch-health-council-criticizes-iarc )
All reports and WHO recommendation are based on old information and new research is not taken into account
Just like the IARC-report from July 2009, all references in the ICNIRP-report from 2003 are from research-reports from before year 2000 (actually most of the references are the same!). Nothing is said about the tremendous amount of research made during the last ten years showing that the benefits from UVB-radiation outweigh the risks up to a factor thousand to one, or even more according to some experts.
The few sentences in the WHO recommendation that refers to the health benefits of tanning are so far from anything else presented in recent reports, so it would be ridiculously funny if the matter wasn’t that serious.
“While sunbed use may increase vitamin D synthesis, predominantly from the UVB component, for the majority of the population, incidental exposure to the sun, combined with normal dietary intake of vitamin D, provides adequate vitamin D for a healthy body throughout the year. If people require more vitamin D than the sun can provide (for example, because of living in polar regions) this should be supplemented through diet rather than sunbed use.”
This is written in a recommendation to the world’s governments at a time when almost 100% consensus exists about the fact that UVB rays are the only natural and safe way for the body to create Vitamin-D. The best proof of that Vitamin-D never was intended for oral intake lays probably in mother’s milk that contains all vitamins and other nourishment for a child except Vitamin-D. Also it has been measured in several researches that UVB-rays reach the earth only a cloudless (and pollution-fee) day while the sun is above a 50⁰ angle above the horizon, and that is definitely not only in “polar regions”. For more details on this, see my post: http://thetanningguru.com/do-you-know-how-to-tan#more-580
Would you buy a mobile telephone that is made today based on more than 10 year old technology? Probably not, but most of the world’s governments are doing just the same thing when they adopt laws and regulation based upon WHO’s recent recommendations.
The experts view
Professor Johan Moan, Senior Researcher Radium hospitalet in Oslo, Norway, one of the world’s most recognized experts on the benefits of Vitamin-D, says like this in his letter to the Norwegian health authorities on 12.11.09 (translated from Norwegian)
“Research has changed my view on sun beds. With the knowledge we possessed in the 90s, an age restriction would be reasonable to consider, but with the knowledge we have today, an age restriction seems very unfortunate. Technological development of the sun beds combined with Norwegian rules have made the radiation from them much weaker today than they were during the 90s, and much weaker than many other countries. The danger of getting a sunburn has thus been dramatically reduced. I think the Health Directorate should focus on spreading information to make sure Norwegians show common sense when exposing themselves to the sun. The sun is good for your health in moderate doses, and if you avoid getting a sunburn, then exposure both outdoors and in sun beds will be good for you, no matter how old you are. One should also take into consideration that the number of people under 40 with malignant skin cancer has gone down since 1990, while the number of people using sun beds has increased.”
Norway has not implemented any age-limit for tanning in solarium and neither has the Netherlands and most other countries in the world.
The picture below describes the possible ways for L'Oreal to influence the process in WHO in order to create and maintain a multi-billion dollar market for sun-protection lotions, a market that hardly existed 20 years ago.
The ways for L'Oreal to influence the recommendations on tanning from WHO in order to make billions on sale of sun-protection and “fake-tan” lotions.