Wednesday, May 02, 2007
A look at GlaxoSmithKline's Board
Special thanks to Truthman for bringing this to my attention
The board at GSK
Leading cancer drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline states that its global mission is to improve the quality of human life. Externally however, its board members hold senior positions with corporations that do not have mankind's best interests at heart, including directorships of alcohol, tobacco and chemical-pollutant conglomerates and various companies promoting high sugar and fat diets - all, to some degree or another, linked to human carcinogens.
At the time of writing, GSK's chairman (until 20th May 2002), Richard Sykes, is a director of Rio Tinto, a mining company with an appalling human rights record, continually exposing its workers to toxic fumes, lead, arsenic and radioactive materials, leading to cancers and other serious illness. GSK deputy chairman, Roger Hurn, along with fellow directors Ian Prosser and John Young, hold key positions at chief pollutants ICI, BP Amoco and Chevron respectively. Another GSK director, Donald McHenry, resides on the board at Coca-Cola and Paul Allaire serves on the board of 'artery-sludge' giant Sara Lee. Coca-Cola is currently facing a lawsuit over its products' alleged ability to trigger type-2 diabetes, while Sara Lee features in Multi-National Monitor's "Top 10 Worst Corporations of 2001".
Recently retired from the GSK board is Derek Bonham, a director at Imperial Tobacco. GSK made over £470M in 2001 from various 'stop smoking' aids. Their new product, Zyban, has recently been approved by NICE, despite it being linked to multiple deaths and injuries. Fellow GSK board member Christopher Hogg, the soon-to-be appointed Chairman of GSK, was, until only recently, a director of alcohol giant Allied Domecq. His colleague at GSK is the aforementioned Ian Prosser, who is also chairman of Bass Breweries. Maybe these two gentlemen are perfectly positioned to advise GSK on how best to pitch Zofran, GSK's wonder drug to 'cure' alcoholism?
GSK is also 'blessed' with the expertise of arms dealer Dr Jean Pierre Garnier, who sits on the board at United Technologies. Most breathtaking of all perhaps is the fact that former executive director at GSK, Jeremy Strachan, has recently been appointed Secretary of the British Medical Association.
This is a fairly representational snapshot of those who hold sway over conventional healthcare today. Another example would be the UK's premier cancer charity, Cancer Research UK, which states on their website under 'Corporate Partnerships':
"Our team has experience in developing high profile, commercially beneficial campaigns to suit the needs of our corporate partners, such as Duerr's, GlaxoSmithKline, Schroders and Tesco."
The cancer club
The very people responsible for directing human health decisions with regard to cancer have key financial interests in tobacco, sugar, alcohol and pollution-causing industries - many of these products in themselves carcinogenic. These same people also have close ties with our supposedly independent cancer charities. As such, the following statement from the Cancer Research Fund, now known as Cancer Research UK, comes as no surprise - a statement which formed part of its public education document entitled Preventing and Curing Cancer:
"One of the biggest myths in recent years is that there is a cancer epidemic being caused by exposure to radiation, pollution, pesticides and food additives. The truth is that these factors have very little to do with the majority of cancers in this country. In fact food additives may even have a protective effect - particularly against stomach cancer."
This statement attempts to protect petrochemicals, nuclear power, the synthetic food industry and other toxic concerns from carcinogenic enquiry. Protecting the likes of GSK perhaps?
About the Author :
Bob Fiddaman has been writing about the dangers of antidepressants since 2006. In 2011 he was presented with two human rights awards from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.