Posts Tagged ‘WHO’

Speaking of cocaine…

June 16, 2009

Here’s the most badass thing I read on my blog vacation, from the Guardian:

“Health problems from the use of legal substances, particularly alcohol and tobacco, are greater than health problems from cocaine use,” they [the World Health Organization (WHO)] said [in March 1995]. “Cocaine-related problems are widely perceived to be more common and more severe for intensive, high-dosage users and very rare and much less severe for occasional, low-dosage users.”

The full report – which has never been published – was extremely critical of most US policies. It suggested that supply reduction and law enforcement strategies have failed, and that options such as decriminalisation might be explored, flagging up such programmes in Australia, Bolivia, Canada and Colombia.

And why would this report have never been published?

At the point where mild cocaine use was described in positive tones the Americans presumably blew some kind of outrage fuse. This report was never published because the US representative to the WHO threatened to withdraw US funding for all its research projects and interventions unless the organisation “dissociated itself from the study” and cancelled publication. According to the WHO this document does not exist, (although you can read a leaked copy at www.tdpf.org.uk/WHOleaked.pdf).

Related: Clipse – Keys open doors

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Docs want WHO to condemn homeopathy for infectious disease

June 2, 2009

Artist-trickster Derren Brown posts this press release from the U.K. group Sense About Science:

In a letter to the World Health Organisation today, early career medics and researchers are calling for the body to issue a clear international communication about the inappropriate use of homeopathy for five serious diseases. They say they are frustrated with the continued promotion of homeopathy as a preventative or treatment for HIV, TB, malaria, influenza and infant diarrhoea. The Voice of Young Science network has joined with other early career medics and researchers working in developing countries to send the letter, in advance of a ‘Homeopathy for Developing Countries’ conference in the Netherlands on 6th June.

The letter:

  • Explains that medics working with the most rural and impoverished people of the world already struggle to deliver the medical help that is needed. The promotion of homeopathy for serious diseases puts lives at risk.
  • Lists some of the examples of recent and planned developments of homeopathic clinics offering treatment for these five conditions.
  • Asks the WHO to make clear that homeopathy cannot prevent or treat these five conditions.
  • Thanks, BoingBoing.