George L. Carlo

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George L. Carlo is a Buffalo (NY) born epidemiologist who set up as a science-for-sale entrepreneur in the early days of the Agent-Orange/dioxin problems. At that time he worked both for the Dow Chemical Company in their "flying circus" of experts who were toured around the USA to tell citizens that there was no need to worry ... dioxins were relatively benign... and also for the Chlorine Chemical Council, a subsidiary of the Chemical Manufacturers Association, the descendant of the Manufacturing Chemists Association that attacked Rachael Carson in 1962. [1]

Later he joined forces with Maurice LaVois from California, and they approached Philip Morris with an offer to run a projects which involved both a phone-survey of doctors and some academics:

  • 1) They were to be questioned in a heavily loaded way that was guaranteed to show they thought passive smoking was likely to be harmful. This then establishing that these doctors were "biased" against tobacco and were therefore not acting scientifically
  • 2) These pre-determine finding were then to be promoted to the general media as evidence of general medical "bias" and proof that scientists were not dispassionate and couldn't be trusted. [2] [3]

This phone-survey research was eventually done by the Health and Environmental Sciences Group (HESG), which sounds impressive, but which was only a handful of local staff recruits operating out of a brownstone house owned by Carlo in Washington DC. [4]

Carlo took Thorne G. Auchter (ex Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) into his organization as a silent partner (and possibly also James J. Tozzi (ex head of the OIRA at the Reagan White House). These three were close friends and worked closely together as lobbyists and science-corrupters for the tobacco industry for many years. One of the astroturfs run by Tozzi and Auchter, the Institute for Regulatory Policy, was supposedly the funder, controller and publisher of the Philip Morris/Carlo bias study.

Carlo also acted as a recruiter for the tobacco industry's Whitecoats [5], and was a key organiser with Tozzi and Auchter in the attempt by the tobacco industry to take control of the standards used in epidemiology by the regulatory agencies (known as GEP -- Good Epidemiological Practices) [6]. This was done through a so-called London Conference [7] of experts, which was heavily loaded with the tobacco industry's scientific 'friends' to pre-determine the outcome. This pseudo-conference resulted in the London Principles which the tobacco industry then touted to politicians as guidelines for the regulation of toxic substances.

Carlo appears to have been paid either $15,000 or $25,000 for his involvement in this project, while Tozzi received $70,000. [8] On top of this, Federal Focus, Inc. a camouflage-corporation run by Tozzi and Auchter (with Carlo involved, if not a silent partner) also received a "Federal Grant In Aid" from Philip Morris for $300,000. [9]

When the EPA was making its assessment that Environmental Tobacco Smoke was a carcinogenic risk to health, Carlo also provided them with some credible denial. As an old reliable science-for-sale entrepreneur Carlo was to write a op-ed piece for them and act as an independent spokesman in a planned attack on the EPA's reformed Scientific Advisory Board [10]

Cellphone science

In 1993 when the public began to become concerned as to whether cellular phones were a health risk, Carlo was selected by the Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA) on the advice of Ketchum Public Relations to run a quick-and-dirty Scientific Advisory Board, which after spending less than $1 million and a few days of meetings, gave cellphones the all-clear. The US Congress considered this a whitewash, and told the CTIA to get real, and to fund some substantial research into the possible biological impact of cellphones on human health.

Eventually they put in $25 million, and hired George Carlo to create a company called Wireless Technology Research (WTR) which was housed in the same brownstone as his HESG. It was to fund research for three years, but managed to spend most of the money on completely useless research. As a result the editor of the journal "Microwave News" (Louis Slesin) wrote at one time that "Carlo had spent $17 million without ever getting a test-tube wet." [11]

The May/June 2003 issue of Microwave News, reviewed the progress of the WTR:

“George Carlo’s Wireless Technology Research (WTR) had run a confidence game on behalf of the mobile phone companies... Carlo and the industry he represented never wanted to do any actual research...WTR’s $25-million research budget was by far the largest pot of money ever earmarked for RF research. It was squandered. The public is a loser because Carlo brought us no closer to understanding the health risks from cell phone radiation... For close to a decade, its members were denied the chance to do the promised research. Carlo’s strategy was clever and effective. By dangling a huge amount of money in front of the cash-starved RF community, Carlo guaranteed silent obedience. Anyone who dared complain risked being cut off from his millions. There was the added benefit that scientists were discouraged from helping lawyers who were thinking about suing cell phone companies. WTR’s bank account is now empty”


Carlo broke with the Cellular Telephone Industry Association after the money ran out (they eventually funded him to the tune of $27 million). His demand for further funding also led to an acrimonious exchange as a consequence of a disputed divorce settlement where the CTIA refused to make WTR accounts available to his lawyers. They became implacable enemies.

At this stage Carlo had a Damascian conversion, and overnight he became an enemy of the cellphone industry, charging that the CTIA was responsible for covering up some of the scientific findings uncovered by WTR funding which showed cellphones were dangerous.

  • He hitched up for a while with Peter Angelos the wealthy product liability lawyer -- but that project collapsed.
  • He wrote a book with Martin Schram, which was noticeable more for what it avoided than what it revealed. (Cellphones: invisible Hazard in the Wireless Age)
  • He joined forces with one of the fake 'bio-shield" companies to promote a completely useless device to protect yourself from "harmful cellphone radiations". -- this arrangement also collapsed acrimoniously.[12]
  • Now he runs what amounts to a training institution, to teach people how to make money off cellphone fears. [13]

He also appears to spend some of his time writing puff-pieces about himself for Wikipedia [14]

Other Links

See good overview [15]