UN health agency upholds research on nuclear radiation

UN health agency upholds research on nuclear radiation

(AFP) – May 4, 2011

GENEVA — The World Health Organisation said Wednesday that independent research on the health impact of radiation must be pursued without being influenced by the nuclear industry.

The WHO’s remarks came after a first meeting between the UN health agency’s chief, Margaret Chan, and Chernobyl protestors who have claimed the dangers of nuclear radiation were played down because of an allegedly dominant role played by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Chan also pledged that the WHO would look into why the proceedings of a 2001 meeting on radiation and health involving experts from both UN agencies were not published.

“WHO agrees in principle that research should continue on the health effects of radiation and the research should not be influenced by industry,” the Geneva-based agency added in a statement.

The health agency reiterated that its cooperation agreement with the IAEA did not stop it acting independently out of its overriding concern for public health.

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