What you need to know from the interview with MEP Michèle Rivasi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_rwtxzC13s
  1. Contracts between pharmaceutical companies and the European Commission are, to say the least, difficult to access:
  • The MEP had to question the Commission for months before getting an answer.
  • The files can only be consulted in a reading room, no photocopies, no outside opinions allowed, 45 minutes consultation time.
  • The MEPs in charge of budgetary control are not involved.
  1. Opacity reigns:
  • The price of the vaccines, where they will be produced, the delivery schedule, and the amount of money given to the pharmaceutical companies (in this case, the company CureVac) are all crossed out in the contracts. Pfizer, which is ready to publish its contracts, has already announced that questions about the price of the vaccines and the amounts paid will remain confidential.
  • Two pages struck out on the issue of liability for vaccine-related problems.
  • The European Commissioners are waiting for the goodwill of the pharmaceutical groups concerned to make the contracts public. The European deputies, who were asked to vote on the emergency measures, have no access to any information.
  • The governments of the member countries are in possession of the contracts but do not make them public.
  1. Who benefits from the crime:
  • The responsibility for side effects will not lie with the pharmaceutical companies. 
  • They are exempted from precautionary studies for environmental risks, for example. Procedures are accelerated, caution is forgotten.
  • By not publishing any price data, they can play on geopolitical rivalries to gain more profit.
  • Public research is abandoned. All subsidies and intellectual property rights are granted to companies on a PUBLIC health issue. 

For information, mRNA vaccines come from public research.

  • It is the manufacturers who are conducting the negotiations. Europe here is subject to the multinationals. The pressures are enormous, the blackmail too, and it is done with impunity.
  1. Political rather than health interests?
  • By surfing on the fear, the unprecedented character of the disease and its risks, by presenting the vaccine as a panacea, the powers that be are now snatching the first place of « savior of humanity » on the international scene.
  • Developing countries will be excluded from vaccination. South Africa and India have applied for an intellectual property waiver to allow them to produce these vaccines, which is completely legal. The European Commission was against, defending the interests of laboratories: Indian competition means lower prices… not very advantageous for Big Pharma!
  1. Like an air of déjà vu:
  • The Ombudsman and, if necessary, the Court of Justice of the EU, will be seized on these issues. This is what made it possible to settle the glyphosate affair, where the commission was on the side of the industry…
  1. What about the vaccine?
  • It takes an average of 10 years to complete the creation of a vaccine. The commission agrees, but states that the current urgency does not allow for such delays.
  • Even if vaccinated, the measures will have to be maintained, in the sense that the question of contagion, among others, is not solved.
  • We don’t know how long the antibodies will last; perhaps we will have to get vaccinated every year.
  • New variants, new vaccines?
  • Total neglect of issues of treatment or prevention of the disease.
  • The risks are real and multiple, but the urgency does not allow them to be taken into account. Norway, with autopsies to back it up (and it is the only country to do so), officially deplores deaths due to the vaccine.
  • The vast majority of the pharmaceutical companies’ tests were not performed on people at risk. Yet, they are the first to be vaccinated. Guinea pigs, whose death will not be noticed?
  • All vaccines are based on the same protein(spike); one mutation of it and they are all challenged.
  • The technology used is recent and still has many grey areas.
  • The lie of the free vaccine: it may be free at the time of injection, but it is paid for by taxpayers’ money.
  • Vaccination, like any other subject, raises questions. However, and this is well before the covid crisis, doubts about these vaccines are unacceptable in most discussions.
  1. What about the vaccine passport?
  • Discriminatory for fragile people who cannot be vaccinated anyway.
  • Discriminatory for developing countries that will not be able to afford it.
  • A magic wand to go on a trip? One more illusion.
  • Ethical problem on the issue of data protection and freedom, as well as possible inequalities, the precautionary principle, etc.
  • « Without certainty, no vaccine passport ». Skepticism is present among decision makers as well. But in the face of pressure and fear, it is difficult to doubt calmly.
  1. Public health colonized by private groups:
  • The political spheres, the executive bodies… gangrenous by members or people linked to big pharmaceutical groups.
  • COVAX : a tool driven by private groups.
  • The negotiators appointed by the EU for the vaccine purchase contracts are unknown to the European Parliament or the public. The only one known is related to the pharmaceutical industry. Others are supposedly.
  • Stock market speculation around shares in Moderna, Pfizer, has made many people rich.
  • The lobbies are too powerful. Politicians are too often complicit, permissive, obedient.

Michèle Rivasi’s wish

Transparent political power and institutions that defend the interests of citizens. Citizens who are themselves trained and informed, capable of questioning their decision-makers and seizing effective counter-powers.

A society of solidarity and equality.

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