Courage of Margaret Chan WHO Director General, on ionising radiation
Until May 12, 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) always followed the lead of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on nuclear health effects issues as there is a 1959 agreement that WHO would accept the findings of that organization. This agreement is still in effect and hopefully will be rescinded soon.
However this most likely will need some considerable political pressure from the
public. It is imperative that we support this tremendously important pronouncement and spread the message far and wide. This is a breakthrough that will impress the public because of the prestige of the World Health Organization and the integrity of the
Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan.
The letter to Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan from the International Institute of Concern for Public appears below. It can also be seen at iicph.org/330.
Please do write your own letter to Dr. Chan and send the word to
others to spread the news and send their own letters.
Thanks, Marion Odell
Dear Dr. Chan:
For those of us in the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) community
that have been working for so many years to awaken the public and
politicians to the dangers to health of ionizing radiation, your
pronouncement that radiation is always dangerous and there are no safe
low levels of radiation is very welcome! We are thankful that the
World Health Organization (W.H.O.) under your leadership has come to
Internationally renowned epidemiologist and expert on the health
effects of ionizing radiation, Dr. Rosalie Bertell, Ph.D., G.N.S.H.,
was one of the founders of our organization (IICPH) and its first
president. Dr. Bertell remains a guiding light. We therefore have been
very active in working to educate the public, governments and
regulatory bodies on the scientific evidence that there is no safe
level of exposure to ionizing radiation.
Governments and the nuclear industries have depended on the
pronouncements of the International Commission on Radiological
Protection (ICRP) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to
help maintain the nuclear industry, despite this scientific evidence.
But now, we and other environmental NGOs will have your announcement
as Director General of the W.H.O. to assist us in our mandate to
educate people, governments and other groups on the health effects of
even very low levels of radiation.
Millions of lives have already been adversely affected from ionizing
radiation. Our descendants are unlikely to escape the effects even if
all proliferation of ionizing radiation should cease today. Therefore
it is vital to warn, to teach, and to prevent even very low exposures.
As Dr. Bertell has said in her book, No Immediate Danger: Prognosis
for a Radioactive Earth, “We know we face extinction if nuclear war
ever begins. We face the same extinction even if the bombs never fall.
The production alone of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons is
initiating the death crisis of our species.”
We value your tremendous wisdom and courage and will certainly do what
we can to help the W.H.O. mission to bring about a healthier, safer
environment for all.
— Marion Odell
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