Press Release - Rep. Tancredo Blasts WHO Director For Shunning
November 14, 2007
Contact: Iris Ho
Click here for Congressman Tancredo's press release
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
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
# # # #
November 27, 2007
Dr. Margaret Chan
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
CH - 1211
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
Thank you in advance for your favorable consideration, and I look forward to
hearing from you.