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WARNING: This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
    There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
    Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.


Smoking-Gun docs.




Smoking Gun Document

WHO-IARC attack plans    

Smoking-gun document

Joanna Sullivan was the chief Philip Morris Corporate Affairs (CA) strategist in Brussels dealing with the European Commission and the European Union. She was also a key member of the IARC Task Force which worked to defeat (or lessen the impact of) the WHO's IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) study on the carcinogenic and health impacts of passive smoking.
[The industry uses the euphemism of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) for second-hand smoke or passive smoking (because these terms have 'victim' connotations).]

    The tobacco industry had both a scientific strategy (paying for pseudo-research to create contrary findings) and a communications strategy to counter the public impact of the IARC report. They also organised 'crisis teams' across the industry to ensure a well-coordinated response in case the results leaked prematurely. In fact, the industry's successful use of insiders delayed the release by over two years.

    The tobacco industry had its own spies inside the World Health Organisation (WHO) and also scientific friends in the WHO's research offshoot in Lyon, France, the IARC. The industry also had a number of well-paid independent (academic) scientists who were under contract with the IARC to perform some of the ETS-health research.

    So the industry was well appraised of the anticipated results, and knew well in advance that the IARC report (which took a year or more in the writing, because of wording disputes) would categorise ETS as a known human carcinogen. The industry therefore had plenty of time to prepare a wealth of scientific pseudo-evidence, and conduct media, public relations and political campaigns against the findings.

    Philip Morris ran its own IARC attack group under the leadership of lawyer Steve Parrish (VP Corporate Affairs), and he had both American and European third-level executives on his team. This administrative and decision-making group consisted of David Greenberg and Matt Winokur in the USA, wnd Joanna Sullivan in Brussels. David Bushong and Helene Lyberopoulos were also closely involved at various times.

See full document

1994 June 16: 'Jo' Sullivan is writing here to David Greenberg:

You solicited my thoughts on how we can effectively progress certain of the IARC plan elements.

Confounders and Exposure studies
[Confounders are unwanted elements involved in epidemiological study that the researcher must identify and take into account. From the viewpoint of the industry under attack, they are also potential 'scapegoats' — they can be blamed for producing or exaggerating an adverse finding. The tobacco industry therefore commissioned studies directed at exposing and exaggerating confounders as an effective way of throwing doubt on the expected adverse findings of the IARC research.]

  1. Ensure studies progress in such a way to provide maximum CA benefit.
    [CA= the Corporate Affairs division of Philip Morris Europe. (Note: other researchers have interpreted CA to refer to the industry's Courtesy & Acccommodation program.)]
    • monthly updates on progress and key findings for potential CA/scientist use and if necessary to adapt study protocol (for maximum scientific impact).
      [In other words, manipulate the design of studies being done by commissioned scientists to exaggerate some of their expected beneficial findings.]
    • thorough analysis of site selection to maximise use of results with national/EU target groups.
      [analyse the possible audiences for the propaganda being generated by these manipulated research projects, both on a national basis, and on an EU-wide basis, to achieve the most effect when the studies are released.]
    • agreement from study investigator/university to publicise ongoing developments through scientific conference and media opportunities.
      [Do deals with the commissioned scientists and their institutions to allow progressive publicity of the manipulated research well before the studies are completed.]
    • assess feasibility of obtaining Europe Against Cancer budget for confounders studies or other endorsement by DG V.
      [The European Union's Directorate-General for Employment, Industrial Relations and Social Affairs which provided finance for workplace research].

  2. Marketing the confounder study results — elements could include:
    [Marketing here means maximising the propaganda benefits of the confounder studies in various ways.]
    • pre-publication exclusive by study investigator.
      [Preliminary findings were wsually 'leaked' to the media before the release of the actual results... so as to get double the media exposure, and also test the waters for a reaction.]
    • investigator/university to seek study endorsement by independent cancer body (EPIC?)
      [EPIC = European Prospective Investigation of Cancer.. one of a number of similar research organisations]
    • investigator/university to send published study direct to target groups.
      [This suggests that sometimes the university was knowingly involved in the pseudo-research projects.]
    • promote study results via contacts of investigator.
      [He would have contacts on editorial boards of scientific journals, etc.]
    • generate letters to editors (scientific/general media) promoting study and highlighting EPA/other weak ETS methodology including IARC.
      [The tobacco industry used letters-to-the editors and op-ed articles published under scientific bylines, extensively]
    • encourage libertarian policy groups to promote study and criticise the weakness of epidemiology, especially on ETS.
      [ETS = Environmental Tobacco Smoke or passive smoking. The tobacco industry was a major funder of libertarian think-tanks, and in return it received support from Cato, AEI, Heritage, and other corporate-libertarian think-tanks and policy groups when required.]
    • independent scientists to push feature articles promoting confounders arguments.
      [What the tobacco industry meant by 'independent scientists' were a group of academic and science-for-sale researchers (also called 'third-party advocates') who were paid through lawyers, and therefore able to claim under oath that the "have never received a penny from the tobacco industry".]
    • promote perspective argument: confounders, especially poor diet (dairy fat) and other relative risks vs. ETS, no significant risk — possibly through VNR featuring study investigator, and third party advocates of confounders arguments.
      [VNR = Video News Release, Numerous companies specialised in generating these propaganda pieces and circulating them to television networks.

          The 'relative risk' approach to scientific PR is almost always successful because it is often impossible to make genuine comparisons between these risk — especially in the 2 minute span of a VNR. However the media will always play the sensational line if it is available.

          Such distortion can also be played the other way (if you have the backing of a large and costly PR machine), for instance: "The death rate from smoking in the USA is equivalent to a Jumbo Jet crashing into the World Trade Center every day."]

  3. Marketing the exposure study results
    • study investigator to publicise to scientific peers via scientific journals, conference opportunities and direct to government (EU/national) scientific advisory bodies.
      [These studies would have been designed to apparently parallel the IARC study, but obviouly Sullivan expected them to produce opposite conclusions. These would then be presented through normal scientific circles to throw doubt on the IARC research.]
    • CA use not recomnended...
      [She is recommending here that Philip Morris's Corporate Affairs division keep well out of sight and leave the running entirely to the commissioned scientist doing the 'exposure study'.]
Sullivan also attached an Annex — a long lists of organisations which she labeled as:
  • Targets [Mainly European Commission and European Union administrative bodies.]
  • EU Influencers [Medical, cancer prevention and research groups — with notes about the potential usefulness of some of them to the tobacco industry.]
  • International Influencers [Mainly United Nations NGOs in the field of public health]
  • Member States [Organised associations of Health Ministers, Government committees, etc,]

Good Epidemiology Practices (GEP)
GEP was the outcome of a project extending back to the 1990s, and beginning with the Lansdown Conference (1992) which was followed by the London Principles Conference (October 1995).

    These conferences brought together a number of compliant scientists (and a couple of gullible ones) to formulate a list of principles which they decided should be followed by the regulatory agencies (US FDA, EPA, OSHA, etc + European equivalents) when considering scientific findings in their rule-making.

    These were super-standards which, if followed, would have locked the regulators into a strait-jacket for years, until an impossible level of 'absolute certainty' was reached with universal acceptance of the evidence (which is impossible when so many scientists are being bribed).

    Philip Morris lawyers then turned these 'London Principles' into legalese as "Good Epidemiological Practices' (GEP) — supplementing a similar project run by the US Chemical Manufacturers Assocation.. Draft GEP legislation was then promoted by lobbyists and compliant scientific groups to the US Congress and European Parliament as 'scientific consensus' rules that should be imposed on health and environmental regulatory agencies.

GEP Seminar
  • extract an agreed set of criteria on GEP for use as a lobby tool — based on criteria developed during seminar.
    [The tobacco industry regularly ran 'controlled' seminars and conferences, which were loaded with enough of their paid consultants to ensure the desired outcome.]
  • incite participants to lobby DG V to establish need for.. and push GEP Resolution
    [The DG V directorate regulated workplace smoking]
  • encourage other supportive/vulnerable industries to support seminar and promote the need for GEP criteria to be legislated.
    [Extend the promotion of GEP beyond just the tobacco and chemical industries, to increase the lobbying power.]
  • have STOA host conference.
    [STOA = European Union's Science and Technology Office of Assessment over which the tobacco industry had influence.]
  • have small number of MEPs endorse conference, and through involvement encourage them to lobby [the European] Commission on need for GEP Resolution; possibly have EP own-initiative report on GEP.
    [MEP = Member of the European Parliament. MEPs were generally old party hacks given this perk as a prelude to retirement. They were notoriously bribable, and could be 'persuaded' to have the European Parliament (EP) prepare its own report promoting GEP.]
  • CIAR vs tobacco industry funding
    [CIAR = Center for Indoor Air Research, a scientific funding body in the USA, supposedly independent of the tobacco industry, but in fact, tightly controlled by Philip Morris. Reference here is not understood — perhaps it refers to dispute over CIAR control and funding within the US tobacco industry..]
  • ensure scientific epidemiologist participants have clear philosophy of criteria sought via careful pre-selection, pre-briefings.
    [Make sure the paid consultants know exactly what the industry wants, since they are the front for the GEP operation, and they will be negotiating compromises with the European Parliamentary members.]
  • possibly invite DG XIT ?
    [Note the ? The tobacco industry had 'special friends' in some of the European Directorates — especially those involved in agriculture and trade.]
  • STOA/ClAR/epidemiolegists to publicise "agreed GEP criteria" to key targets and follow up with lobby efforts.
    [This makes it pretty clear that they were paying some of the key STOA scientists. The CIAR corruption is well documented.]

GEP Lobby
  • focus seminar participants on DG V, and supplementary focus by epidemiologists on national Health Ministers.
    [DG V = The European Union's Directorate-General for Employment, Industrial Relations and Social Affairs which regulated workplace smoking.].

    The above are initial thoughts which need developing further; 1 hope they are in the kind of direction you had in mind.

    As requested,, attached are:
  • presentation on confounders/exposure studies by [Richard] Carchman to [Steve] Parrish.
  • draft media plan developed by [Matt] Winokur
    [All key executives in science corruption at Philip Morris]
You have already the IARC questionnaire. No formal critique has been done, as far as we are aware.
    Do let me know if you have any questions.

    Also see another interpretation of this document which puts it in context.

Joanna Sullivan was clearly in charge of organising the IARC Task Force at this early stage. On June 15 1994 she had e-mailed Matt Winokur about the "IARC next meeting" and the various points that need to be covered:

See document

As we discussed, you will undertake the following, in order that we speed up the process of achieving our IARC objectives rather than delay until the next meeting.

GEP Resolution:
    Obtain the scientific input on the draft C&B Resolution, from S&T, and SHB as well as Tony and Tom Borelli to ensure that the Resolution contains the necessary language to catch the IARC study.
[She wants to see the material being compiled from
  • C&B — Covington & Burling — the main Washington/london tobacco lawfirm
  • S&T — Science & Technology — the science lobby arm of FTR (Swiss PM subsidiary) run by Helmut Gaisch.
  • SHB — Shook Hardy & Bacon — the Kansas City law firm which ran most of their underhand programs, and provided cut-out services for the scientists
  • Tony — Anthony Andrade — an ex SHB lawyer now working for Philip Morris as director of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs. (he had just taken over the IARC operation)
  • Tom Borelli — the old head of Science & Technology in the US domestic company, now under the control of Steve Parrish and Tony Andrade (both lawyers)
Note the desire for the GEP rules to "catch the IARC/" ]

    As we discussed the crucial elements need to be identifiable to PMCS as distinct to the padding (which is important to make the Resolution politically viable).
[She wants the tobacco industry's essential elements in the GEP document to be obvious to the various (national) PM Corporate Services divisions — the staff who deal with denial, lobbying and disinformation. "The padding" is material added to the GEP to make it politically attractive to gullible politicians.]

    Once the changes have been agreed and incorporated, you will send around the amended version to the full IARC Task Force for final comments. Once this process is complete we will have a final text to act on here; we should aim to complete this exercise by end of June.

Next meeting:
    We need a meeting as soon as the key players can make.it. You will circulate a note suggesting dates for early July since 21 June, intended date,.is no good for all.

    The key elements that need to be covered off at this meeting are
    • endorsement of language of [GEP] Resolution
    • discussion and agreement on the feasibility; objectives, and timing of the GEP conference: you will have BM [Burson Marsteller PR] and APCO [the Philip Morris controlled specialist PR company at this time] attend to present their refined plan (could you circulate the draft to TF [Task Force] members once you receive it so we have a chance to consider it before the meeting)
    • discussion and agreement on the potential use of scientists known to C&B and SHB to promote GEP concept and Resolution wording to DGV, DGXI and their Scientific advisory committees, and same for national level. [The lawfirms Covington & Burling and Shook, Hardy & Bacon collaborated in handling different scientists, so that these 'independent' scientists could always deny having tobacco company links.]
      You will ask them to come prepared, having identified individuals for this specific purpose, and the degree where known of their access points within EU and national government scientific/public health circles:
[The law firms were part of the conspiracy to using these paid scientists and surreptitious lobbyists, and she wanted the IARC Task Force to be appraised of how they would be utilised.]

    You may have thoughts on other plan elements that need to be covered at this next meeting.



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