Corporate Philanthropy & the Gates Foundation: Global Vaccine Program Conflicts of Interest

Bill-gates-GAVI-Vaccines

by Rishma Parpia

The Vaccine Reaction

Bill Gates is reported to be one of the richest individuals on Earth, with a current net worth of $87.4 billion. [1] The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), founded in 2000, is the largest private foundation in the world. [2] The foundation’s mission is to support and fund international development initiatives that improve social, economic and health conditions on a global level. [3] The BMFG has been praised for pumping massive amounts of money into public health policy initiatives and scientific research on issues that forward the personal vision and social reform goals of Bill Gates. [2]

A recent report released by a U.K. based organization Global Justice Now, closely examines the BMGF operations and reveals that the foundation’s influence on global health initiatives is greater than any other donor country including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland and Italy. [2] However, unlike democratic governments who are accountable to their electorates, the BMGF is a private foundation that essentially remains unaccountable to populations impacted by the foundation’s social reform and public health initiatives, with the exception of tax reporting requirements. [2]

More recently, the BMGF has come under scrutiny regarding the manner in which it operates and the impact of its programs and initiatives. Philanthropy, particularly on a large scale like this, is not as simple as it may appear to be. [4] Global Justice Now expresses its concern by stating:

Perhaps what is most striking about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is that, despite its aggressive corporate strategy and extraordinary influence across governments, academics and the media, there is an absence of critical voices. Global Justice Now is concerned that the foundation’s influence is so pervasive that many actors in international development, which would otherwise critique the policy and practice of the foundation, are unable to speak out independently as a result of its funding and patronage. [2]

Accountability and Conflicts of Interest

Concerns have been raised regarding the foundation’s lack of accountability and conflicts of interest with multinational corporations. Although the BMGF spends only 5% of its annual global health budget on lobbying and advocacy, this 5%, which translates into over $100 million speaks volumes on the political power held by the foundation. [4] The BMGF funds scientific research, including new vaccine development, and also gives significant amounts of money to institutions ranging from universities to non-governmental organizations. It is also the single largest donor to the World Health Organization (WHO). [2] [4]

In 2015, the BMGF contributed 11% of the WHO’s entire budget. [2] In 1999, the foundation committed $750 million over a 5-year period as seed money to launch the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI), [5] an international organization committed to “improve access to new and underused vaccines to children in low-income countries.” [6] Since 2000, the foundation has contributed $2.5 billion to GAVI. [2] Interestingly, according to the Global Justice Now report “members of the GAVI board always include companies in the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, which involves GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, and Pfizer, among others.” [2]

These types of public-private partnerships no doubt gives the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation considerable leverage in influencing health policy priorities in the U.S. and other countries, which creates both perceived and real conflicts of interest. [4] Gregg Gonsalves, an long time AIDS activist and co-founder of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition voices his concern about the power of the BMGF:

It’s not a democracy. It’s not even a constitutional monarchy. It’s about what Bill and Melinda want. We depend on them learning, and it’s not as if there are many points of influence for this. [4]

The BMGF is heavily intertwined with corporate America. Most of the senior staff employed at the foundation have previously worked at multinational corporations. [2] [4]

This is particularly common with the BMGF’s health programs whereby former pharmaceutical industry executives lead the work rather than public health professionals. [2] To name a few examples, Sue Desmond-Hellman, CEO of the BMGF, previously held a senior position as President of Product Development for 14 years at Genentech, a biotechnology company. [2] Genentech and GlaxoSmithKline also employed the current COO of the BMGF, Leigh Morgan. [2] There are several more such examples highlighted in the Global Justice Now report.

Microsoft and Tax Avoidance

Bill Gates wealth largely comes from Microsoft, the software company he founded in 1975. [2] In 2008, Gates decided to stop working full-time for Microsoft in order to focus more on his foundation. Still serving on Microsoft’s Board of Directors, he spends one-third of his time working for the company and remains the single largest shareholder owning 4.5% of the company. [2]

Microsoft’s tax record has been the center of controversy for many years. Global Justice Now reports:

A 2012 US Senate found that the company was using offshore subsidiaries to substantially reduce its tax bills, describing Microsoft’s complex web of interrelated foreign entities to facilitate international sales and reduce U.S and foreign tax. The report noted that despite the company undertaking most of its research in the U.S and generating U.S tax credits, profit rights to the intellectual property were largely located in foreign tax havens. This meant that Microsoft was able to shift offshore nearly $21 billion (in a 3-year period), or almost half of its U.S. retail sales net revenue, saving up to $4.5 billion in taxes on goods sold in the United States, or just over $4 million in U.S. taxes each day. The $4.5 billion in taxes lost to the U.S Treasury each year is greater than the BMGF’s annual global spending. Furthermore, Microsoft’s value as a company has undoubtedly been inflated by its tax planning, meaning that more of Gates’ philanthropy has been paid for by the U.S Exchequer, thus U.S taxpayers.” [2]

The BMGF’s Global Vaccine Programmes

While there is considerable general concern over BMGF’s influence on U.S. public health policy, there is particular concern about the foundation’s global vaccine initiatives, which lack independent review and evaluation. [2] The BMGF, via its funding to GAVI, is now one of the world’s largest funders of vaccine programs in low-income nations. [2] Its vaccine initiatives have raised some serious ethical issues. [2] Global Justice Now explains:

the BMGF also stands accused of assisting pharmaceutical companies to circumvent or short-cut Western regulation by sponsoring cut-rate drug trials in the developing world. It costs billions to develop new drugs, mainly in fees to conduct clinical trials required by the authorities in the US and Europe… Yet several reports in recent years raise serious questions about the impact of some of these BMGF-funded vaccine trials. Some point to significant numbers of illnesses and even deaths among those being administered vaccines. [2]

Conflicts of interest and lack of accountability issues appear to be inherent in the growth of public-private partnerships. Corporate philanthropic funding of scientific research, new drug and vaccine development and operation of public health programs, including mass vaccination programs, deserves far greater public scrutiny.

Read the full article at The Vaccine Reaction.

See Also:

Developing World – The WHO’s Private Vaccine Laboratory

Source: http://vaccineimpact.com/2016/gates-foundation-funding-global-vaccine-program-more-powerful-than-government/

9 thoughts on “Corporate Philanthropy & the Gates Foundation: Global Vaccine Program Conflicts of Interest

  1. RTS,S/ASO1 malaria vaccine.
    Developed in – PARTNERSHIP WITH –
    * GlaxoSmithKline
    * PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative
    * WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION.
    * and from a network of African research centers ….
    The properties of this vaccine destroyes the proteins that allow the malaria cells to develop.
    The properties will also destroy the proteins that cause the infant that will be injected with this vaccine to develop.
    Thank god it will be the little Black African New Born Babies and not White Western Babies that they are destroying – hey.
    THIS VACCINE WAS APPROVED FOR USE IN GERMANY & FURTHER EUROPE.
    Dr. MENGELE & GHOULS INCPORATED.

  2. MAY THE AFRICAN & MIDDLE EASTERN REFUGEES DESTROY THE EUROPEAN UNION
    MAY THEY TRAMPLE IT INTO OBLIVION
    AND THEN MAYBE THE CARNAGE BEING INFLICTED UPON THE PEOPLE OF PLANET EARTH WILL STOP

  3. Exactly who do these aristocrats of Europe /EU think they are – that they can dictate their will upon the whole planet – it was lucky they discovered the atomic bomb or they would be nothing today.
    What goes around, comes around.

  4. Yesterday ….
    I heard a lover sigh, good bye, oh me oh my
    7 times he got aboard his train & 7 times he huried back to kiss his love again.
    Wait for the mail .. he told her
    I’ll never fail
    If you don’t get a letter than you know I’m in jail.

    This was the lack of communication only a short time ago – the peoples of the world relyed on someone bringing word – if anything at all. You could get lost, or lose someone so easily, whole peoples vanished & it was the official story told to us by the establishment, that coverd up any & all criminal acts.
    A whole town could be stolen – the inhabitants mowed down & bulldozed into a pit & no one would ever find out, but that which the thieves wanted to be known.
    Today God has given us commmunication of such proportions.
    CYCLOPS is avaliable to us.

  5. The Electronic Intifada – UK thwarts war crimes probe of former Israeli minister by Charlotte Silver.
    & I wrote …
    FREEDOM ….
    this woman, like all other persons of her profile have top level security for life – all their lives they & their family can never be free to be me … stress is the biggest killer of this century.
    Bill & Melinda gates also … don’t you think that there will be cells in Africa who will want their pound of flesh for services rendered ?

  6. 5,000 cases so far of vaccine damaged babies in Brazil (FOUR) yes only 4 had zika, all 5,000 had Tdap given in utero from 20 weeks gestation from May 2015, and began being born exactly 20 weeks later in October. Seems CDC, WHO and Brazil Health, all seem to be missing the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS CONNECTION. Also CDC, didn’t check their own stats, bureaucracy at its abysmal best, USA before vaccinating pregnant women had maybe 400 cases of microcephalic births a year. Now they vaccinate unborn babies? 25,000 cases of microcephaly a year. Yep, to stop the rare chance that if you newborn baby catches whooping cough (only dangerous in newborns), and IF that baby catches whooping cough, 1 in 200 MAY die, they vaccinated EVERY pregnant woman in Brazil, and they have 1 in 50 chance of a microcephalic baby. OH< and stopping that baby getting whooping cough, didn't work, they still getting whooping cough. The FRAUD is unbelievable. CDC and WHO and all these Health Departments should be on trial for murder.

  7. news.com.au 14/07/2016.
    Graham Tuckwell is a man with $150 million to spare – he’s just cemented his place as Australias most generour PHILANTHROPIST – Tuckwell donated $100 million to Australian National University – it followed a donation of $50 million in 3013.

    So what is a PHULANTHROPIST – AND HOW MUCH OF THE MONIES WAS tax deductable – WHICH MEANS THAT THE MONIES ACTUALLY COME FROM THE …. Australian Coffers … WHICH MEANS THE POCKETS OF THE COMMON AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN.

  8. AND THE BIGGER QUESTIONS
    * WHAT DOES THIS SCHYSTER WANT IN RETURN
    * WHO PUT HIM UP TO IT
    * WHY … WHAT IS SOMEONE GETTING OUT OF IT

  9. We the Australian people ned to ask where this money is comming from, how it was “earned”, it is to avoide paying taxes, it is a payment to the government in expectation of future services &.ot favors.
    It is best that everyone pay their taxes accordingly – that the monies are not “ill gotten gains” that we all know how much money there is & that those monies are then allocated to where they will do the most good.
    I am not interested in schmaco playing the generous benefactor.
    I donated my time to raise money for needy childreb 100% of the monies donated were TAX DEDCTABLE.

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