Rep. Tancredo Blasts WHO Director For Shunning Taiwan

In a letter dated November 27, 2007, Rep. Tancredo chastizes WHO director General Margaret Chan, for failing to notify Taiwan’s government about a recent food borne outbreak in Thailand.

Rep. Tancredo writes: “Dr. Chan, the failure of your office to directly inform President Chen directly about public health concerns of this nature could have negative implications that extend far beyond the Taiwan Strait.  What if some of these contaminated products had been trans-shipped out of Taiwan to one of the member states?”

The Congressman concludes: “I sincerely hope that the WHO will move to correct this unfortunate mistake, and that in the future the organization will focus more on carrying out its mission and less on complying with the petty parochialism of Communist China’s foreign policy demands.”

FAPA President CT Lee, MD states: “The thought of poisoned baby corn reaching the Taiwan market because of China’s and the WHO’s political maneuvering is simply sickening; especially in light of the fact that this could all have been prevented if the WHO had come to it senses and would have put health above kowtowing to China. After all the WHO’s motto is: “Health For All.”

Dr. Lee concludes: “Rep. Tancredo has again proven that he is a hero and pioneer in the battle for Taiwan becoming a full, independent and normal country. Having announced his retirement last month, it goes without saying that he will not only be sorely missed by the people of Taiwan but by Taiwanese Americans as well.”

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November 27, 2007

Dr. Margaret Chan
Director General
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
CH – 1211
Geneva, Switzerland
Sent VIA Fax.: +41 22 791 3111

Dear Director General Chan,

I recently learned of a September 12 World Health Organization (WHO) International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) alert regarding a food borne outbreak of Shingella sonnei in Australia and Denmark.  The alert requested information from WHO member states in order to gauge the extent of the problem and identify and contain potential outbreaks of dysentery associated with this pathogen.

Two days later, the WHO issued another alert indicating that food products from Thailand were the source of the outbreak, and that Taiwan had been a destination for some of these infected outbreaks.  Unfortunately, however, politics trumped public health and the WHO chose not to directly inform Taiwan’s public health authorities about the threat.

Instead, the WHO delegated this task to the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), a task that Beijing – perhaps predictably – chose not to carry out for some two weeks after receiving the alert.

I understand that Taiwan is not currently a member of the WHO, but it is widely known that the PRC government exercises no authority over Taiwan with regard to public health – or anything else for that matter.  Furthermore, it is widely known that the Chinese government is quite hostile to Taiwan, having deployed some 1,000 missiles on its southeastern coast, all of which targeted on the island.  Given that this is such common knowledge, it is rather perplexing that the WHO would rely on the benevolence of the Beijing government when it comes to protecting the health and safety of the 23 million people of democratic Taiwan.

Dr. Chan, the failure of your office to directly inform President Chen directly about public health concerns of this nature could have negative implications that extend far beyond the Taiwan Strait.  What if some of these contaminated products had been trans-shipped out of Taiwan to one of the member states?

Fortunately, it appears that the Taiwanese have taken sufficient measures in this case to preserve the health of its citizens and prevent tainted products from leaving the island.  But we may not be so lucky next time.

The constitution of the WHO sets forth as its mission, “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction or race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” The WHO website goes on to say “those with little political voice” should be of the WHO’s greatest concern.  Unfortunately, however, the WHO’s recent actions seem to indicate that the organization does not believe these goals apply to the 23 million people on Taiwan – despite the fact that they clearly have “little political voice” in the organization.

I sincerely hope that the WHO will move to correct this unfortunate mistake, and that in the future the organization will focus more on carrying out its mission and less on complying with the petty parochialism of Communist China’s foreign policy demands.

Thank you in advance for your favorable consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.

(November 27, 2007) Rep. Tancredo Blasts WHO Director For Shunning Taiwan