Thomas J. Borelli

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Thomas J. Borelli was a Philip Morris Corporate Scientific Affairs Manager circa 1990. He also worked for Philip Morris Corporate Services in Brussels.


Dr. Tom Borelli Ph.D. had a doctorate in biochemistry from the New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York.

Before working for Philip Morris, Borelli was a technical specialist for the Products Safety and External Technical Affairs Division of General Foods World Wide [Note: General Foods was bought by Philip Morris.]. He also worked as a science consultant for the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives. (DOCS 000033)

He became the manager of Philip Morris Corporate Scientific Affairs Department circa 1990. In this position he became one of the chief architects of most of the company's (and therefore the industry's) main operations which aimed to confuse not only smoking and health research, but also to discredit science in general -- in both general terms (ridiculing epidemiology, etc) and specific scientists and their findings. The tobacco archives have thousands of documents taken from Philip Morris files, which show how destructive these malicious projects were to anti-smoking activism and legislation.

The signing of the Master Settlement Agreement between the Clinton Presidency and the American tobacco companies led to the slow release of 14 million file documents. This subsequently exposed the corporate-driven Machaevellian activities of tobacco industry scientist as lobbyists and designers of scams to distort scientific fundings. Borelli transferred to work for Philip Morris Corporate Services, Inc. in Brussels (probably to get him out of reach of American lawyers). (PMI's Introduction to Privilege Log and Glossary of Names, Estate of Burl Butler v. PMI, et al, April 19, 1996)

Later Borelli joined forces with the industry's notorious junk-science promoter, Steve Milloy (of TASSC and Fox News) and they went into the funds management business. Milloy was one of the key science lobbyists in America who was vocal (and developed celebrity status) in dismissing the dangers of passive smoking and the reality of climate change. Borelli had run him as an undercover tobacco industry supporter during his many years with Philip Morris.

In November 2010, the records show that Tom Borelli was a managing partner with Action Fund Management, an investment advisory firm, and a portfolio managerr for the Free Enterprise Action Fund.[1] He was also still listed as a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C.[2]

As of 2012 Borelli was working at the right-wing think tank FreedomWorks as a Senior Fellow and an "expert" on the coal industry.[3]

Articles by Thomas Borelli

The Anti-Capitalism Virus, National Policy Analysis, Feb. 2006 (a publication of the National Center for Public Policy Research)

Tobacco industry documents

A brief internal email from Tom Borelli (then Manager of Corporate Scientific Affairs for Philip Morris) relates PM's efforts to influence a scientific meeting about secondhand smoke (environmental tobacco smoke, or ETS). It reveals the subsequent scorn the company received, and the company's future plans to find ways to influence the group.

Tom Borelli is one of the best-known of the science corrupters who worked for the tobacco industry, mainly because of his roles with what became the 'Science Issues' division of Philip Morris which was, for many years, at the center of industry attempts to delay any legislation on passive smoking (ETS). One of his more notorious projects was to run a scam using the part-finished research of Luis Varela, a Yale PhD student who died unexpectedly in February 1990. This became known as the Varela Study project.

Borelli arranged for PM to have a presence at a 1989 toxicology forum session on secondhand smoke. He wrote about the meeting afterwards,

My contact at ILSI [International Life Sciences Institute, presumptive organizer of the forum] told me that the person from NCI [National Cancer Institute, a federal government cancer research organization] was not pleased with the TOX forum ETS session. That illustrates what a good job we did.

Borelli describes the anger that the NCI attendee had at PM's attendance:

Unfortunately, the NCI representative did not stop there but went on to say that if the tox forum allows PM to become a member, the NCI will remove itself from the advisory committee. It was also mentioned that if I want a career in the science/health issues, I should consider who I work for.

Borelli discusses how PM could continue to try and influence this group, and proposes funneling sponsorship money through a PM subsidiary as a way to force the group to continue working with PM:

Thus if everything remains the same the tox forum is a one shot deal and I get blacklisted. I think it is time to move with the PM Co., Inc strategy for sponsorship of outside groups (remember the proposal I wrote). Of course that would raise the stakes of forcing these groups to accept PM and I guess they could choose to keep us out. But then they go broke. The only other option is to funnel money through KGF [Kraft General Foods, a PM subsidiary] but then we loose [sic] control of the issues...[4]

Anti-regulatory and Climate activism

Together with Steven J. Milloy, Borelli founded the Free Enterprise Action Fund, a mutual fund which aimed to promote an anti-regulatory agenda. in 2005. Milloy left the organization.[2] and, on July 20, 2009, the Free Enterprise Action Fund merged with the Congressional Effect Fund. Borelli then became a portfolio manager for the Congressional Effect Fund.[1][5]

Borelli has been an activist at shareholder meetings opposing company involvement in climate change legislation. His targets have included General Electric, PG&E, Dow Chemical, Caterpillar, John Deere, and Duke Energy.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Biography: Dr. Thomas J. Borelli, Property Rights Foundation of America, accessed November 29, 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kate Sheppard, "Thank You for Global Warming," Mother Jones, November 22, 2010
  3. Kevin Grandia, "FreedomWorks' Pro-Coal Lobbyist Tom Borelli is Former Professional Pro-Tobacco Scientist," Desmogblog, Dec 6, 2012.
  4. ETS Issues Report. Borelli, T. November 27, 1989. 1 pp. Philip Morris Bates No. 2024255220
  5. "The Free Enterprise Action Fund Merged with the Congressional Effect Fund on July 20, 2009," web notice accessed November 29, 2010

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