16 Jun 2010

Swine flu threat castigated as 'pandemic of panic'

11:28 am on 16 June 2010

The British Medical Journal says the swine flu epidemic threat was mostly a pandemic of panic.

An article in the journal says that the outbreak caused little human suffering and that global plans to control it were largely a waste of money.

The article also criticises the World Health Organisation's handling of conflicts of interest among experts advising it on the pandemic.

The journal's editor-in-chief, Fiona Godlee, says it's worrying that the WHO took advice from experts with links to the pharmaceutical industry.

At no point, she says, were the links between the experts and the industry made clear to the governments around the world who were taking WHO's advice.