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.
(Actual name is Guy Simon Mark Turner)
— The son of a British PR man for the tobacco industry who became a silent partner in Healthy Buildings International, and lobbied hard for the tobacco industry worldwide. —
Simon Turner was the son of BAT public relations man AD Clive Turner. In 1989 he joined forces with two microbiologists Gray Robertson and Peter Binnie in a US-based company ACVA Atlantic (later called HBI or Healthy Buildings International).
ACVA/HBI signed a number of contracts with the US Tobacco Institute and Philip Morris to conduct indoor air quality (IAQ) measurements in public areas and workplaces in a way that ensured that the data on tobacco smoke pollution made it appear to be only a minor component of poor indoor air.
A search for "Simon Turner" OR "GSM Turner" in the tobacco archive turns up 4211 document. If you add into the selection critera "Healthy Buildings International", "HBI" and "ACVA", then the results blow out to 34,068 documents. This makes a thorough search almost impossible, of course.
Simon Turner was a silent partner in the firm ACVA Atlantic , which was expanded and controlled by Gray Robertson in 1990. At this time Robertson changed the name to Healthy Buildings International (HBI) . Turner worked for ACVA and stayed on to work with Gray Robertson at HBI.
Turner was also used by the Tobacco Institute and Philip Morris as a witness and spokesperson for ACVA with journalists, legislative inquiries and in court cases despite the fact that he had no useful qualifications in the field. However he was promoted through the media as a key executive of the company which was, itself being promoted by the PR company Flieshman-Hillyard (paid by the tobacco industry) as the world leader in IAQ testing. So, with uncritical media focus on the company and Gray Robertson (who had some qualifications in microbiology) Turner was accepted as a legitimate expert.
HBI's activities were exposed when a whistleblower, Jeff Seckler, took his story to Rep. Henry Waxman, which eventually embroiled the organisation in a False Claims court case.
In the late 1990s Simon Turner also became caught up in a law-suit filed by the Republic of Guatemala which was directed against the systematic propaganda of the tobacco industry. Along with a couple of other well-known, and well-paid tobacco scientists he was charged with mounting "A False Controversy" by knowingly misleading the public by way of lecturing at a press junket.
This was actually a rather trivial misdemeanor, compared with his daily activities for the tobacco industry in other countries.
Some key documents
• Only his CV includes his birthname of Guy, however a number of research reports and studies use the GSM Turner version [ His father 'Clive" also used ADC Turner — so this must be a family affectation].
Simon Turner appears to have no serious higher education qualifications apart from a High National Diploma (HND) in Applied Biology in 1981 and his laboratory experience seems to be some interim work on the use of trace radio-nuclitides in plant growth and some later work in a South African air testing laboratory.
See 2 page version
1979–81: A laboratory technician working at Harwell (nuclear research station in the UK) on plant growth.
1982–86: Working in South Africa on asbestos problems and lead in petrol. He also lectured on Atmospheric sampling techniques at the 7th World Clean Air Congress in Sydney Australia.
1987 Jan: The US government/Jeff Seckler vs HBI [ACVA] claim under the False Claims Act in 1993 says:
[D]uring the mid 1980s HBI began to develop a complex and secret relationship with TI [Tobacco Instiute]. T1 which is funded by the big six tobacco ccmpanies, was concerned with the increasing focus on second-hand smoke and increasing attempts nationwide to ban smoking in public and private buildings.
Unless TI could slow down this developing anti-smoking movement, cigarette smoking might be banned in all buildings. To that end, TI retained HBI to develop an analysis that would show only minor effects of second-hand smoke in office buildings, for which TI agreed to pay HBI.
Once having done such an analysis and having performed building inspections to TI's approval, HBI's President Gray Robertson was thereafter requested by TI to speak about the results of his analysis before local and state authorities that
were considering smoking bans. His patented speech — which was reviewed and approved by Tl and promoted throughout the country by the public relations firm of Fleishman Hillard, Inc., whose fees and expenees were reimbursed by Tl — whether it be on ¡'Good Morning America or in People Magazine — was that cigarette smoking was only a minor contributor to indoor air pollution.
To help him, HBI retained Simon Turner, the son of Clive Turner, then Deputy Chief of the United Kingdom Tobacco Advisory Council, the British equivalent to the Tobacco Institute. Simon Turner's role was to go on media tours with Robertson and testify an behalf of TI againat smoking bans.
1987 January: joined ACVA Atlantic in the USA as "Technical Manager". [See C/V] His later C/V was built out from two pages to six.
See 6 page version.
1987 Mar 3: Roger Mozingo complains to Sam Chilcote at the TI about the availability of scientific witnesses because of foreign travel.
"We in State Activities are concerned about the extensive foreign
travel of IAPAG and ACVA expert witnesses during February, March
and April, our busiest legislative period .
He lists Gray Robertson's travel to Australia and Hong Kong (19 Feb to 8 Mar), then to Stockholm (15 to 18 March), Peter Binnie to the UK (20 Feb - 1 Mar) and Philip Witorsch and Sorell Schwarz/Nancy Balter from the tobacco industry's IAPAG group. [All done for Philip Morris] as the source of the problems
Apart from difficult and time-consuming schedule juggling required to fill our requests, we have, in some instances, sent in "second-string representatives" when others like Witorsch, Schwartz or Robertson might have been much more effective. For example, we had to use the untested and very young Simon Turner (ACVA) in Helena, MT, last month because Robertson and Binnie were out of the country.
It seems that TI-identified and TI-paid resource personnel should spend the bulk of their working time on TI-related matters.
1987 April 8: Statement of Simon Turner — Columbus Ohio. Claims they have studied in excess of 36 million square feet of buildings. Simon specialises in the so-called sick-building syndrome. He says that
"sick building syndrome" may result primarily from energy conservation efforts to seal buildings and reduce the infiltration/exfiltration of air.
Such efforts have reduced the natural infiltration of fresh air that previously existed in many buildings, exacerbating the often undiscovered problem of a poorly designed or maintained HVAC system. [and smoking of course!]
It would be naive to assume that the removal or control of ETS, the most visible indoor air pollutant would solve the indoor air pollution problems found in "sick buildings". That approach ignores the many hidden sources of indoor contamination, and can lead — at least in the short run — to a false sense of security.
1987 Sept 28: This listing of the Scientific Witness Team (SWT) working for the Tobacco Institute shows that he is now third in the public hierarchy of ACVA after Gray Robertson and Peter Binnie.
1989 /E: Tobacco Institute's Confidential notes on Public Smoking hearings:
Consultants: who they are, how long have they been working for TI, what they do.
Background The document lists the following activites of these consultants.
- TI consults with 37 ETS and IAQ scientists : 14 are members of university or medical school faculties ; 23 are professional consultants ; 11 are exclusively expert on IAQ .
- Scientific disciplines include chemistry, toxicology, biochemistry, statistics, medicine, environmental science, biostatistics and industrial hygiene.
- Academics : 14 academic scientists from institutions including the University of California ; New York University Medical Center ; Columbia University ; University of South Carolina ; University of .Alabama ; University of Maryland ; Medical College of Virginia ; Pace University ; West Virginia University ; Stillman College ; New York Medical College ; and George Washington University .
- ETS Consultants : George Carlo ; Walter Decker ; Thomas Golojuch ; Gio Gori ; Larry Halfen ; Larry Holcomb ; Alan Katzenstein ; Maurice Levois ; Joe Pedelty; Jack Peterson ; Barry Seabrook ; and David Weeks .
- IAQ Consultants : Peter Binnie ; Bill Butler ; John Drake ; Jolanda Janczewski ; D . Johnson ; Gray Robertson ; Jeff Seckler ; Elia Sterling ; Nancy Stone ; Simon Turner ; and Jon Yereb .
- How we use them
- Prepare and deliver testimony .
- Conduct briefings with legislators; regulators ; lobbyists; and coalition allies.
- Conduct two ETS and one IAQ media tour per month.
- Conduct empirical IAQ research .
- Monitor scientific developments on ETS and IAQ.
- Prepare articles for publication.
- Submit letters to editors of scientific and general audience publications.
- Attend and report on scientific conferences.
- Kinds of things they do
- Testify on federal, state and local smoking restriction and indoor air quality bills and regulations — explaining complex scientific information in straightforward lay terms.
- Appear on television and radio talk shows — often in debate formats — in areas where smoking restriction activity is underway.
- Assist the industry in responding to media reports by preparing c=itiques of adverse research.
- Help reassure allies that they are on solid scientific ground.
1989 March: Jeff Seckler and Simon Turner were given media training by Michael Sheehan Associates with Kay Packett from the TI observing. MSA were:
a media trainer and paid advocate of the "smoking-is-not-bad" school. During these classes, I was taught how to answer questions from individuals who challenged HBI's "smoking-is-not-bad" position. During the classes, there was no mention of promoting HBI's building inspection business.
1989 Nov to June 1990 He is making a series of Legislative Appearances in various US States, and doing some media work for the Tobacco Institute. Feature in a Newsday article on sick buildings.
In July 1990 he is in Ohio, inspected the Hoover Company's manufacturing facilities and testified in federal court on behalf of the IBEW Local in their effort to gain a preliminary injunction to a proposed smoking ban.
[Court transcript - did he reveal his Tobacco Institute connections?]
See also Brennan Dawson's report of his activities to the TI Communications Committee.
Simon Turner of Healthy Buildings International (EDT) conducted a media tour on indoor air quality in Nashville. Included in his media appearances were three radio and one television interview. A report and clips are enclosed.
A Fortune magazine article on sick building syndrome includes an interview with Simon Turner. This article (copy enclosed) is the result of a pitch initiated several months ago.
1990: "The Measurement of ETS in 585 Office Environments." A scientific paper by Simon Turner, Louis Cyr (Statistician from University of Alabama) and Alan J Gross, Medical University of Sourthern Carolina. They claim to have studied ETS levels in 585 offices during 1989.
It conclused that ETS is an insignificant problem, and credits funding for the study to the tobacco industry's supposed "arms length" granting organisation, the Council on Indoor Air Research (CIAR).
1990 /E: Article by Simon Turner on HBI. Another was also in preparation for Perry's Environmental Technology Letters.
"HBI seeks to identify the causes of indoor air quality problems — the "sick building syndrome" — and to recommend remedial steps.
Surprisingly, after a detailed, scientific evaluation of these buildings, we have determined high levels of environmental tobacco smoke to be the immediate cause of indoor air problems in only three percent of the 412 major US buildings investigated by HBI between 1981 and 1989. "
He goes on to quote Kirk (Imperial College) and Sterling of Vancover, and attack Repace.
1990: Simon Turner of Health Buildings International (HB) repeated the mantra of the tobacco industry at some inquiry:
Surprisingly, after a detailed, scientific evaluation of these buildings, we have determined high levels of environmental tobacco smoke to be the immediate cause of indoor air problems in only three percent of the 412 major U.S. buildings investigated by HBI between 1981 and 1989.
This result has been corroborated. In a similar study of 203 buildings from 1978 to 1983, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that only four of the buildings studied (two percent) had indoor air quality problems attributable to high concentrations of ETS.
While Turner's statement implies that the NIOSH replicated their methods and collaborated HBI's findings, it is maliciously misleading. The NIOSH 'study' was a review of the available documentation taken from vague notes, records of telephone conversations, mail-advice, and whatever over these years. Most evaluation were simply made by an occupational hygienist walking through the building after the problem was over.
NIOSH has not used a standard protocol for conducting these evaluations. Our methods and criteria have changed as we became more familar with the problem and developed new approaches. Also. some of the
This was not a study in the sense of the NIOSH sending technicians and monitoring equipment out to gather IAQ data in offices and the like.
investigations were conducted several years ago, leaving only scant data and a brief report for current review.
The NIOSH report was compiled from records of the agency's responses to requests for assistance during workplace accidents — such as chemical spills, ruptured petroleum pipelines, workplace poisonings, pesticide poisoning, etc. These are not the sort of workplace emergencies where one would expect to find a substantial number of complaint due to high levels of tobacco smoke.
The NIOSH study notes that:
"Inadequate ventilation made up approximately one-half of our completed evaluations ... commonly made after considering a number of factors, including the absence of other sources of contamination and the presence of only very low levels of contaimnants in our environment sampling results. These, linked to the widespread occurences of non-specific symptoms such as headaches, eye irritation, and upper respiratory irritation, suggests that an evaluation of the ventilation system may be warranted. Such an 'evaluation' would obviously encompass tobacco smoke problems also. Furthermore, the study specifically downplays the alternative explanation for building problems — fungus and other microorganisms in the system — which HBI constantly promoted.
Turner ignores this aspect of the NIOSH report, and says:
Significantly, in those few cases where we found high accumulations of ETS, we also discovered an excess of fungi and bacteria in the HVAC [air-conditioning] system. These microorganisms usually are found to be the primary causes of the complaints and acute adverse health effects reported by building occupants.
1990 Mar 16: [Listed in the May 14 1990] Philip Morris Draft Corporate Affairs Work Plan for Spain and Portugal as Already Done:
On March 16 Simon Turner, of Healthy Buildings International, and Elia Sterling, of Theodor D. Sterling of Canada, gave a press conference to announce the result of their study of an office building in Madrid.
Their press conference, as well as the study they purported to have done, were sponsored by the Madrid Association of Architects [actually by the Spanish tobacco industry]. This press conference was aimed primarily at the technical press. There was ample coverage of the event.
1990 June: to July Brennan Dawson's report of his activities to the TI's Communications Committee.
In Ohio, Simon Turner testified on behalf of the IBEW Local 1985, in its effort to gain a preliminary injunction of a proposed total smoking ban in the Hoover Company's three plants. The injunction would delay a ban until the issue can be resolved in arbitration later this year.
1990 Dec 5: Turner is listed in a Tobacco Institute memo under the heading:
"Testimony offered by industry allies and others, including Simon Turner of Health Buildings, Inc., "(sic)
1991: This study was actually done in 1989: "The Measurement of ETS in 585 Office Environments. [The study was torn apart by Alfred Lowery at a Congressional hearing in 1994, and shown to be partly based on fake data. It is entirely possible that Cyr did not know the data was false. Gross was a long-term tobacco-friendly scientist.] The authors were:
- Simon Turner, HBI
- Louis Cyr, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Division of Biostatistics, University of Alabama Medical Center, Birmingham
- Alan J Gross, DBESS, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston SC.
Discriminant analysis of the data collected showed a group of rooms used for light smoking (59.9% of total smoking rooms) was not significantly different from the nonsmoking rooms, in terms of the variables which contributed to the predictive ability of the model (RSP and nicotine).
Note that the data for this study was from "indoor air diagnostic work routinely conducted by HBI. "
Statistical analysis also showed overall levels of ETS in offices to be considerably lower than estimated in work ten years previously, and that carbon monoxide is only weakly influenced by smoking activity.
Conclusions: Discriminant analysis shows that when 'blindfolded' for presence or absence of smokers, in most cases realistic smoking levels do not significantly influence the aspects of air quality that were measured, and 'spillover" from smoking areas into nonsmoking areas appears to be minimal.
[At this time most journalists accepted the CIAR as a tobacco-funded but not controlled, independent research organisation]
Funding for this work was made available in part by the Center for Indoor Air Research
1991 Mar 7: Turner was contracted by Sharon Boyse for a press junket in Guatemala along with Philip Witorsch (IAPAG) and the anti-WHO specialist Paul Dietrich (IIHD).
His attendence at this seminar later earns him a place as a defendent in a court case bought by the Republic of Guatemala against the tobacco industry where they were charged with deliberately misleading the nation via its media, using the tactics listed in this document, as "A False Controversy."
The charge filed by Guatemala against tobacco lobbyists, Philip Witorsch, Paul Dietrich and Simon Turner says:
Defendants openly denied the effects of tobacco products on its users while Defendants were consciously aware of the health risks to tobacco users.
As recently as March of 1991, Defendants sponsored a seminar in Guatemala City title "The Truth About Tobacco." At this seminar, industry paid experts, Drs. Philip Witorsch, Paul Dietrich and Simon Turner related that there is insufficient evidence that tobacco causes lung cancer and that the use of tobacco products has not been shown to cause substantial health damage.
Defendants knew of the hazards of cigarette smoking. The Defendants affirmatively and actively concealed information which clearly demonstrated the dangers of smoking.
1992 May 12: Robertson, Gray HBI - tour of Argentina - 
1992 June 10: Whistleblower Jeff Seckler appears on NBC Nighly News and at a subsquent congressional inquiry, and exposes HBI's "lucrative financial and intimate ideological relationship with the Tobacco Institute that motivated it to falsify data [intended] to lessen the reported impact of ETS in buildings HBI assessed. http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/content/full/95/S1/S16" Target=_blank>
1992 Oct: Industry Briefing Sessions for the Media. Instructions issued by Sharon Boyse at BAT to the Regional staff involved in disinformation.
BAT and Philip Morris have now run a series of briefings in Latin America, and BAT has continued in the Caribbean. Each for 15-20 journalists, located "somewhere pleasant (eg a beach resort). The instruction note suggests a number of different instructors with expertise in various areas. Saying:
INDOOR AIR QUALITY - Someone from Healthy Buildings International, either Gray Robertson or Simon Turner, was originally used for this presentation. However, HBI have now decided to stop participating in these events, and alternatives are available from Consolidated Services Inc. in the USA or Chris Proctor from Covington & Burling, http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/sjl76a99/pdf
1992 October: [Reported by Shook Hardy & Bacon in Nov 20 1992 bulletin] The ASHRAE (air conditioning association) Journal has an article "Commissioning to Avoid Indoor Air Quality Problems," by EM Sterling, CW Collett, S Turner and CC Downing, [Three are well-established tobacco friendly, cash-for-comment 'scientists'] The report says:
The authors of this study, three of whom are members of ASHRAE'S HVAC Commissioning Process Committee , propose that a properly designed, constructed, operated and maintained HVAC system can reduce or eliminate the majority of IAQ and comfort complaints.
They suggest that HVAC commissioning during design, construction and operation of the system may be a solution to IAQ problems.
See Page 14
1993 Mar 11: Turner is now giving evidence before the House Public Works & Transportation Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds for a proposed bill, HR 881, dealing with "Prohibit Smoking in Federal Buildings" His associates are well known long-term tobacco friendly scientists:
Gray Robertson of HBI also gave evidence five weeks later.
- Gio Batta Gori, Ph.D., Director, Health Policy Center
- Maurice E. LeVois, Ph.D., Environmental Health Resources
- Simon Turner, Healthy Buildings International
1993 June 1: Tobacco Institute list of "Witness/Expert Appearances — Scientific/Legal/Spokespersons." [Everyone on this list works diligently for the tobacco industry]
Tom Lauria, Mike Buckley, Simon Turner, Gio Gori, Bill Wordham, Gray Robertson, Peter Binnie (Now HBI), Larry Holcomb, John Fox, Rich Silverman, Walter Merryman, David Remes, Frank Powell, Melinda Sidak, Rudy Cole, Larry Halfen. Binnie appears to be concentrating on airports (not aircraft)']
Attached 1991 Witness List which includes, Brennan Dawson, Jeff Seckler, Jim Goold, Joe Pedelty, Jolly Ann Davidson, Dick Wagner, Bernadette Davidson, Walt Decker
And 1990 Witness List (page 35) includes Bill Orzechowski, Mike Davis, Morris Coats,
Also document has attached the 1989 witness list with (in addition to above)
Dwight Lee, David Weeks, Alan Kassman, Bob Tollison, Richard Wagner, Jack Peterson, "Bestype Consulting", Dennis Vaughn,
And 1988 List (Most of above) + A Katzenstein, David Brenton (focus on airlines)
1994 Jan 23: ASHRAE's New Orleans meeting: File note by Mayada Logue - (Philip Morris USA's in-house IAQ standards expert) about some exchange of letters which preceded the meeting (which was designed to set new ventilation standards]. She obviously missed attending and reporting on some vital standards meeting:
"Meeting schedule was changed and posted at the registration desk today. If one registered, as I had done yesterday, the change would not be known.
[Clearly she was afraid Simon Turner would tip off the other members that the tobacco industry was behind some suggested change to the standards.]
Letter to ASHRAE President: [This] Letter was sent [on] to Paul Crammer, President, BCIA, Building Council of America [actually Building Council on Indoor Air, a Tobacco Institute front organisation]. He sent a copy to all the members. Simon Turner, chairman of the technical committee received a copy.
The plan is for Peter Billings, member of SSPC-62-89, to distribute [the letter] to other committee members, or Simon Turner would introduce it as an observer. I instructed him not to do that — discuss with Ted and RJR role of consultant and who is in charge to make decisions on the run at ASHRAE meetings"
1994 Jul 12: The Commissioner of Labor and Industry (Maryland) has published "Prohibition on Smoking in an Enclosed Workplace" (effective Aug 1)
The Commissioner's proposal differed from the Board's recommendation in that the regulation as proposed did not exempt restaurants, bars, taverns, hotel and motel rooms, and facilities for conventions and meetings. [T]he Commissioner believed that the economic impact would not be significant and hence removed the exemption.
1994 Jul 30: Simon Turner is making a presention to the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) conference New Orleans. This organisation was union-backed and part of the labor movement at this time.
This document includes photocopies of receipts that are only ever sent to paymasters.
See page 2
1994 Sep 13: Tobacco Institute's list of Expert Witnesses used in 1994 (for public smoking hearings) and the dollar costs associated with each hearing. Begins page 3. (Also see 1988 and 1989 appearances from page 11)
- RSVP — Rudy Cole
- Healthy Buildings International — Simon Turner, Gray Robertson and Richard Silberman.
- Holcomb Environmental Services — Larry Holcomb
- Dwight Lee — Professor of Free Enterprise, University of Georgia.
- Stephen Raffle — Oakland psychiatrist who said nicotine wasn't addictive.
- Robert Tollison —GMU organiser of economists for the tobacco industry.
- Professor Kip Viscusi, Yale University
- Tridata - (Fire safety)
[MANY MORE HERE ALSO]
1994 Dec 18: HBI Analysis. "Report on Healthy Buildings International Data
To the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment." [18 page detailed report by Alfred H Lowrey of the US Naval Research Laboratories. - Naval expert in ETS]
At the request of the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health and the Environtnent, I conducted a scientific review [of the HBI and CTR evidence to the subcommittee]
My review shows that HBI's conclusions are not supported by its own data. In addition, in my opinion, the data is so marred by unsubstantiated data entries, discrepancies, and misciassifications that it raises serious questions of scientific fraud with resulting implications for worker health.
- My analysis of HBI's data shows that it contains many unexplained anomalies, raising serious questions about the integrity of this data. In particular, these anomalies include
- reported data for which there were nomeasurements,
- discrepancies between numbers on data sheets and the summaries of that data,
- misclassification of areas contaminated by ETS as nonsmoking rooms,
- large numbers of highly unusual zero readings for particle measurements, and
- significant under-reporting of room area in many situations.
- In addition, there are serious concerns about HBI's analysis of its own data as reported in its publications and public statements.
- HBI asserts that under conditions of moderate smoking and proper ventilation, there are negligible differences in indoor air quality between rooms where there was smoking observed and rooms where smoking was not observed. This is contradicted by HBI's private analysis of its data see.
- My analysis of HBL's data for the case of moderate smoking shows that the impact of ETS on indoor air quality is 40-fold greater than HBI asserts publicly.
- Other inexplicable findings include the following.
- The magnitude of HBI's reported particle measurements appears to be considerably lower than would be predicted on the basis of the reported nicotine measurements.
- HBI uses a non-standard piezobalance cleaning method which is different from that provided by the manufacturer, a method which could affect its readings in unpredictable ways.
- HBI made a questionable conversion of particle counter readings to mass concentrations.
[Worth reading whole document]
1997 /E: The Republic of Guatemala issued a legal complaint against tobacco lobbyists, Philip Witorsch, Paul Dietrich and Simon Turner, charging them with promoting "A False Controversy" This case against the tobacco industry appears to have been dismissed or abandoned in 1999 — probably settled out of court, or by the payment of a substantial bribe.