Philip Witorsch

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Philip Witorsch was a professor of medicine who ran the first of the tobacco industry's WhiteCoats operations. This was a pseudo-scientific association of so-called experts in indoor air quality, known as the Indoor Air Pollution Advisory Group (IAPAG). The day-to-day administration of IAPAG was the responsibility of Nancy Balter who worked at the Georgetown University with Witorsch and also Sorell Schwartz.

IAPAG became the model for numerous phantom scientific associations on indoor air quality (IAQ) set up with money from Philip Morris and the Tobacco Institute around the world (See ARIA, EGIL, ARTIST and WhiteCoats) Philip's younger brother Rafael Witorsch (aka 'Ray') was also a member of IAPAG and they both led a well-remunerated life-style travelling the world on tobacco industry expense accounts, providing fact witness services in court cases and parliamentary/Congressional hearings.

Because of his medical qualifications and university position, Philip Witorsch was a highly prized and highly paid tobacco industry environmental tobacco smoke "expert witness." He was officially a Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., USA, and he was also the Managing Principal at the International Center for Toxicology and Medicine in Rockville, Maryland. Witorsch took at least $60,000 from the tobacco industry between 1985 and 1995 to claim publicly there was no link between environmental tobacco smoke and cancer.

Documents & Timeline

1937 Jul 11 Born New York, NY (later married with two children) See his heavily REDACTED C/V [2]


1985-95 A later article in the Sydney Morning Herald (Witorsch had been sent to Australia to give evidence) says that Philip Witorsch was a Managing Principal at the International Center for Toxicology and Medicine, Rockville, Maryland. It is alleged that between 1985 and 1995, the tobacco industry paid Professor Witorsch as much as $60,000 to give evidence in America and around the world claiming there was no link between environmental tobacco smoke and cancer.[1] This is probably an underestimation by a couple of factors.


1987 Mar 1 Witorsch was giving evidence again in Australia, he was quoted in a Perth Western Australia newspaper [2], "Professor Witorsch, a lung disease specialist, described many of the studies relied on by the anti-smokers as 'scientific garbage'"*Expert Stubs Out Claims by Anti-Smokers.


Note: a biography circulated by the Tobacco Institute of Australia gives this as his biography:

Professor Philip Witorsch of Washington D.C.
Professor Witorsch specialises in respiratory medicine. He is presently (1990) Clinical Professor of Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Physiology and Director, Section of Environmental Medicine and Toxicology, Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Allergy at the Department of Medicine at the George Washington University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington DC. Professor Witorsch is also Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology at Georgetown University Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.
[Source: TIA document] [3]


1990 Oct 11 (The Tobacco Institute's ETS Group in Action)
The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) is holding hearings on the banning of smoking on interstate buses. These are the scientific submission funded by the Tobacco Institute using the ETS Group listings of Philip Morris.

"Critical comments were filed by:"

[Every one of the above was a life-long tobacco shill.] [4]

1992 August 10 Witorsch billed the tobacco industry (through its law firm, Covington & Burling) $24,250 for 97 hours at $250/hour plus travel expenses for consulting and preparation of manuscripts for the tobacco industry.[5] Other invoices can be seen at [6][7] [8]


1989 Nov 19 [Wrong date on document] The Environmenal Protection Agency (EPA) was in the process of publicly asserting that second-hand smoke (ETS) was a known carcinogen ("risk assessment").

This is a draft speech script prepared for a media briefing by Dr Don de Bethizy, sentior toxicologist at RJ Reynolds. They have lined up all the industry's favourite scientific touts who are being paid to attack

..."the scientific merit of two EPA draft documents -- the ETS risk assessment and the workplace smoking guide" [which he says] contain many major scientific shortcomings. The time we have today only permits us to scratch the surface.

[In fact they dug out the deepest slime in the pit. Every scientist mentioned here is a long-term tobacco industry science-for-sale entrepreneur or witness for hire.]
Today, you'll hear why
  • Gray Robertson, an internationally regarded expert on indoor air quality, believes the Workplace Smoking Guide is poorly conceived, with conclusions that are ill-considered.
    [Robertson was the owner of ACVA/HBI -- the most corrupt of all the indoor air testing company employed by the tobacco industry. He was one of the industry's main contract lobbyists.]
  • After Gray Robertson, you'll hear from Dr Phil Witorsch, pulmonary physician and a clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University Medical Center. He will detail the specific reasons he believes the EPA has drawn invalid from evidence concerning the relationship between ETS and respiratory diseases in children.
    [He spent most of his time as a tobacco consultant lobbyist, travelling around the world to provide witness services for the tobacco industry in court cases. He was a founding member of the notorious IAPAG (Indoor Air Pollution Advisory Group) which was a 'WhiteCoats' organisation run by tobacco lawyers Covington & Burling.]
  • Dr. John Wesley Clayton, professor emeritus of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Arizona, and former president of the International Congress of Toxicologists, will discuss the available toxicological data on ETS. None of these data appears in the Risk Assessment. And -- more important -- none supports the contention that ETS is a human carcinogen.
    [Clayon had then been receiving CTR grants for 15 years, and in return, on his retirement, he had become a professional witness who worked extensively for the Tobacco Institute (and probably any other industry with the funds). He was handled by lawyers Shook Hardy & Bacon.]
  • Dr Maurice E LeVois, a highly experienced epidemiologist who has designed large studies for the US government will detail some important omissions in the Risk Assessment. As Dr LeVois will point out,the draft arbitrarily omits important epidemiological, dosimetric, medical and statistical evidence that conflicts with the conclusions reached by the EPA.
    [LeVois was, at various times, the partner of Max Layard and also George Carlo -- both notorious science-for-sale entrepreneurs (Carlo also for the cellphone industry). During the 1990s they worked almost full-time for two industries -- tobacco and dioxin/herbicides -- mainly through infiltrating organisations like Veterams Affairs and conducting their fake studies]
  • Dr. Richard L Tweedie, the dean of information and computing sciences at Bond University in Australia, will present the findings of his own analysis of the epidemiologic studies conducted on ETS. And he will discuss some major differences between his conclusions and those reached by the EPA.
    [Tweedie and his girlfriend (also a long-term tobacco tout) Kerry Mengerson were rewarded with an endowed chair at the University of Colorado]
  • Peter N. Lee, a British statistician whose work is frequently cited by the EPA in the Risk Assessment, will explain why the misclassification adjustment made by the EPA is mathematically incorrect.
    [Lee spent his life as a full-time contractor in statistics to the Tobacco Advisory Committee (TAC) of the UK. He was retained to try to find holes in any adverse scientific finding.]
    Dr William J. Butler, a biostatistician, will focus on the EPA's failure to identify or discuss several important confounding factors that could account for most -- if not all -- of the increased risk noted by the EPA.
    [Butler was a contract scientific lobbyist from the company Failure Anaiysis, Inc. Butler and this company worked extensively for the tobacco industry: he was one of their regular witnesses used with State Assembly hearings. He also spoke at Philip Morris's closed McGill Uni. ETS symposium -- which only enrolled paid industry touts.]
  • Dr Joseph L Fleiss, the head of the division of biostatistics at the Columbia University School of Public Health, will discuss a number of considerations that make meta-analyis an invalid basis for drawing conclusions about ETS.
    [A regular Tobacco Institute consultant and speaker used at fake/closed conferences. (McGill Uni.)]
  • Dr. Paul Switzer, a professor of statistics at Stanford University, will focus on a number of statistical uncertainties, inconsistencies and biases that seriously undermine the scientific credibility of the Risk Assessment.
    [Another regular scientific witness who also played a key role in the loaded McGill University ETS Symposium,]
  • Finally, Dr W Gary Flamm, the president of the International Society for Regulatory Toxicology & Pharmacology, will talk about serious violations of scientific objectivity contained within the .document. [
    The Society was a front for a group of science-for-sale toxicologist who worked for a range of industries with poisoning and polluting problems. Flamm also lectured at McGill.]
[9]

2001 Apr Professor Witorsch testified at a Port Kembla, New South Wales, Australia trial. A 62 year old, nonsmoking former bar employee Marlene Sharp sued her former employer on the grounds that she had contracted throat cancer after being exposed to passive smoking as a barmaid for more than 11 years. The defense called Philip Witorsch and Sorell Schwartz from the International Center for Toxicology and Medicine in Maryland, in the United States, as expert witnesses. They were actually the two principals of the phantom Indoor Air Pollution Advisory Group (IAPAG).

An article in the British Medical Journal about the trial outcome says that "Professor Witorsch has appeared on many occasions for the tobacco industry internationally, although his online curriculum vitae makes no mention of any association." Under cross examination, the attorney for Mrs. Sharp asked Professor Witorsch whether he could name any reputable medical body anywhere in the world not sponsored by the tobacco industry which held that environmental tobacco smoke did not cause cancer. Professor Witorsch was unable to name one. The lawyer also confronted Witorsch with tobacco industry documents showing how much he had earned from the tobacco industry over the years.[3]



Contact

Philip Witorsch, M.D.
Georgetown University Medical Center
Division of Clinical Pharmacology
NE404, Medical Dental Building
3900 Reservoir Rd. NW
Washington, DC 20057
witorscpATgeorgetown.edu (Replace the "AT" with an "@" sign.)

References

  1. Article by Allison Jackson, Sydney Morning Herald, May 4, 2001
  2. Burns, A. Newspaper publication. March 1, 1987. Perth, Australia.
  3. Simon Chapman, British Medical Journal Australian bar worker wins payout in passive smoking case BMJ 2001;322:1139. May 12, 2001

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