WHO Rejects Corporate-Funded Research Institute

The United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO) barred the U.S.-based International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) from taking part in "WHO activities setting microbiological or chemical standards for food and water." The decision followed warnings from health, environmental and union groups, including the Environmental Working Group and Natural Resources Defense Council, that WHO risked "scientific credibility and may be compromising public health by partnering with ILSI." That's because 60 percent of ILSI's budget comes from "hundreds of chemical, food and drug companies." ILSI's corporate funders include Coca-Cola, DuPont, ExxonMobil, Merck, Monsanto, McDonald's and Pfizer. ILSI director Suzanne Harris countered, "We are not a back door for industry. ... We're not trying to sell anything."