Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Philip Morris conducted and hid 800 studies on second hand smoke

this makes me mad too. i must be in a cranky mood.

The Philip Morris tobacco company quietly conducted extensive animal research in the 1980s that documented the toxicity of secondhand smoke while arguing publicly that it was safe, according to an analysis, published online last week by The Lancet, of thousands of industry and court documents. In a related move, the University of Geneva (UG) has raised doubts about more than 3 decades of tobacco-smoke studies authored by a retired UG environmental-medicine professor who coordinated research for Philip Morris. His failure to disclose that he was a "secret employee of the tobacco industry," according to a UG faculty commission, tainted his research...

[The] authors...reported finding more than 800 unpublished studies on secondhand smoke completed between 1981 and 1989 at a Philip Morris facility called the Institut für Industrielle und Biologische Forschung (INBIFO) in Cologne, Germany. In one key 1982 study in rats, INBIFO researchers showed that sidestream smoke, which drifts from lit cigarettes, caused severe damage to the nasal epithelium and abnormal cellular alterations called metaplasia sometimes associated with cancer and was up to four times more toxic than the direct smoke sucked from a cigarette. The data were not published.

The Lancet authors maintain that Philip Morris created INBIFO from the start to learn about the effects of tobacco smoke but concealed the work to reduce liability. For example, the authors say, the company situated the lab in Germany instead of the United States, funded it through a Swiss subsidiary, and told few employees about the tobacco-smoke research. The company contracted with Rylander [the UG prof] to serve as an intermediary between INBIFO and Thomas Osdene, a Philip Morris executive responsible for research and development.

Dan Ferber. TOBACCO WARS: Research on Secondhand Smoke Questioned. Science, Vol 306, Issue 5700, 1274 , 19 November 2004

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