Don’t Be Fooled By Defunding Treat Against World Health Organization
The White House recently suggested that it might “put a hold” on funding for the World Health Organization [“W.H.O.”], purportedly because the agency mischaracterized the COVID-19 outbreak in China. This claim should not distract anyone from recognizing the negative effects any defunding of W.H.O. would have or seeing the more likely and disturbing motives behind the White House threat.
W.H.O. is a specialized agency of the United Nations employing hundreds of scientists and medical experts. Its mission is to maximize the ability of all humans to live in health. One of W.H.O’s most important components is the International Agency for Research on Cancer [“IARC”]. IARC sponsors research and analyzes data gathered in scientific studies on the causes of cancer. Among its functions is the classification of chemicals according to their cancer-causing potential. Significantly, it relies on independent research, largely avoiding “experts” paid by industrial concerns and trade associations bent on downplaying the toxicity of their chemicals and preventing their regulation.
IARC has been in the forefront of identifying the carcinogenicity of many dangerous chemicals often encountered in toxic tort and environmental litigation, including benzene, diesel exhaust, trichloroethylene [“TCE”] and, more recently, PFOA, the toxic compound that, because it was unregulated for decades, is now found in nearly every American’s blood, and in vast portions of the country’s drinking water.
Defunding W.H.O.—and thereby hamstringing IARC—would only protect the profits of corporate polluters and advance the promotion of irresponsible environmental deregulation, blunting national and international efforts to prevent cancer. No one should be deceived into supporting such a harmful move.
Gerald J. Williams
Williams Cedar, LLC