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Press Release - 22/03/2011

Fukushima. If the health consequences of
Chernobyl had been known...

If the truth about the health consequences of the Chernobyl disaster had been acknowledged over the last 25 years, the people of the world would have demanded, at the very least, the closure of old plants and of any plants located in seismic zones, and the abandonment of all plans for new nuclear power stations. And because policymakers would have had to take public opinion into account, the tragedy of radioactive contamination as a consequence of the accident in Fukushima, would not have been added to the earthquake and tsunami in this region of Japan.

Few people know that the official figures for the consequences of Chernobyl -- as jointly published by WHO and the IAEA on 5th September 2005 are about fifty deaths, 400 people irradiated, and 4,000 potential cancer deaths. These figures take no account of the health of the children living in the contaminated areas where rates of illness are at 80%, and ignore the fate of the 600,000 to 1,000,000 liquidators dispersed across the former USSR. On 26th April 2004, the Ukrainian embassy in Belgium announced that of the 260,000 Ukrainian liquidators involved in the clean-up, 25,000 were already dead and 90% of the survivors were ill.

Why does the World Health Organisation hide the truth?

WHO is theoretically responsible for the health of people worldwide and has authority over the member states. It should, according to its Constitution, be independent of any commercial interest. However, on 28th May 1959, it signed an agreement with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), which states that neither of these agencies are able to take a public position that could harm the interests of the other (Agreement WHA 12-40). Of course, the IAEA was established in 1957 for the purpose of promoting the civil nuclear industry.

An alternative evaluation of the Chernobyl Disaster . . .

The New York Academy of Science published in its Annals (Vol. 1181, December 2009) a thoroughly comprehensive study, independent of any lobby, called "Chernobyl: Consequences of the Disaster for People and the Environment", which summarises nearly 5,000 articles and research papers in the field. The authors estimate the number of deaths due to Chernobyl, worldwide, between 1986 and 2004, to be 985,000.

Mortality is particularly high among children who live in the areas that are still contaminated and who continue to absorb "low doses" of Cesium-137 in food. Dr Bandajevsky was the first to link this radioactive pollutant with cases of cardio-vascular disease and diabetes. In Belarus, the independent Belrad Institute [1] continues to monitor the presence of Cesium-137 in the bodies of children, whose condition is alleviated by doses of pectin distributed by the same institute.

  1. Cf. and

Since 26th April 2007, every working day between 8am and 6pm, a vigil has been held at the Morillons crossroads in front of the WHO headquarters in Geneva, to demand the independence of WHO. This international action is supported by a broad coalition of NGOs who wish to expose the truth about the effects of radioactive contamination caused by the activities of the nuclear industry, both civil and military.

We demand that WHO act in accordance with its Constitution, in a way that is independent of the IAEA, and in particular cease its complicity in the spreading of disinformation about the nuclear industry in general.

We demand that WHO support the research of those scientists in their work to support the people in the territories contaminated by the explosion of the reactor at Chernobyl.

We demand that WHO take the lead in initiating research and preventative measures on the controversial question of low-dose internal radiation, which continues to be harmful for periods ranging from decades to thousands of years.

The vigil has also been maintained by distinguished members of the scientific, medical and political communities.

27th April 2008 in Geneva

WHO vigil

Take part in the Vigil for an hour, a day, a week . . .

To sign up for the Vigil: Paul Roullaud 00 33(0)2 40 87 60 47


- PARIS 23rd and 24th April, on the forecourt of Human Rights at the Trocadero, Exhibition on the victims of Chernobyl -- Hommage to the Liquidators

- GENEVA 26th April, from 3pm until 6pm between WHO and the Place des Nations, a Grand Vigil and a Hommage to the Liquidators

Contact France: Christophe Elain: 00 33 (0)602 27 36 32
Contact Geneva: Eric Peytremann: 00 41 (0)22 735 08 77

Copyright © Independent WHO, 2011.
Reprinted for Fair Use Only.

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