Institute for International Health & Development

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

The Institute for International Health and Development (IIHD) was a pseudo-health organistion established by David A. Morse and Paul G. Dietrich for Philip Morris under the guidence of the Corporate Affairs department under Andrew Whist. Morse and Dietrich used their influence with the Catholic Church (they also ran the Knights of Malta organisation briefly for the Vatican) to have the IIHD nominally housed at the Catholic University in Washington DC. (Dietrich was on the board)

This was only one of a number of fake international organisations that Whist created:

The new organisation was first put to use by Philip Morris as the nominal organisers of the first McGill Conference which was held at McGill University, Montreal, in 1989 (partly to create some credentials for newly recruited Whitecoats in Asia) and totally funded and controlled by the tobacco company. [1] Initially, every participant and every speaker was in the employ, or receiving special payments, from Philip Morris.[2] but scientists from other tobacco companies were admitted at the last moment in an attempt to use the occasion for joint-company collaboration. [3]

Organisation

The IIHD nominally published the proceedings as a booklet. It was designed to be used as a university course text-book, and Paul Dietrich sold copies of it to other tobacco companies for translation and distribution in other parts of the world.

The IIHD had no permanent Washington staff (other than Paul Dietrich and his wife), but the Geneva address (probably just an apartment-office), coupled with the official-sounding name, gave the organisation the appearance of solid United Nations accreditation. This rather ethereal substance was filled out by the employment of a small part-time editorial staff which produced the quarterly IIHD magazine, sent free to health officials around the world.

The magazine was nominally edited by writer Elizabeth Kristol (the Kristols are a neo-con/media Jewish family), but Laura Jordan Dietrich ran the operation when Paul was away. This was a quarterly glossy magazine full of pro-smoking articles and anti-WHO diatribes, mainly written by science-writer, Susan U Raymond. Raymond later became director of policy programs at the New York Academy of Sciences and senior adviser to the US Agency for International Development. She is now the managing director of Changing Our World Inc in New York city, and also affiliated with Columbia University's Center for Global Health and Economic Development ... which sounds suspiciously like a born-again IIHD except that it "partners with the WHO".

Philip Morris funded the IIHD operation to the tune of $240,000 per year [4] and British-American Tobacco (BAT) probably contributed as much again [5]. The IIHD provided the industry with control over a supposedly 'independent' health and development organisation which it could then use to run pro-smoking 'economics and health' conferences and published 'contrary opinions' to those being promoted by WHO [6]

Spring O'Brien [7] was a favourite consultancy for the tobacco industry and Murdoch's Sunday Telegraph and other News Ltd. newspapers carried many of the stories that the IIHD generated [8], certainly at a rate much higher than you'd normally expect.

Philip Morris used the IIHD fairly blatantly to publish the proceedings of tame tobacco scientists, and to distribute political newsletters, and act as an industry front for conferences, etc. Geoff Bible's [Boca Raton Action Plan] for 1989 shows how effective the organisation was. (See pages 1 and 5 [9])

McGill Conference

Philip Morris's infamous McGill University ETS (passive smoking) conference was held on November 3-4 1989 in Montreal. It was actually a training program for Asian academics who had been newly recruited by lawyers under the Whitecoats program, to oppose all attempts at limiting advertising or public smoking in their own countries.

At the McGill conference, they were taught what to say, and how to act in defending smoking without revealing their affiliations with the industry. [10]

This was a 'closed conference' by-invitation-only, and many of those involved were old hands at the 'science-for-sale' business. The others were newly recruited 'scientific experts' who were being indoctrinated with the techniques needed for discounting fears of passive smoke and workplace pollution in their own countries. [11]

The IIHD published the proceedings of this conference for Philip Morris and lent its name as ghost-sponsor, providing the new recruits with some published research credentials -- enough to convince gullible journalists that they knew what they were talking about. The booklet was printed in large numbers and Paul Dietrich made it available as a university textbook in Indoor Air Quality studies.

Export market development

The pseudo-organisation also became important for the US tobacco industry's export drive into Asia, Africa and the Middle East because of the international contacts it was able to develop through Morse and the Dietrichs [12]. Then, after his term as Secretary-General of the ILO, Morse's ex-Deputy Francis Blanchard was also absorbed by the IIHD. [13]

However, for most of the time the IIHD was run by tobacco lobbyist Paul Dietrich and his wife Laura Jordan Dietrich who were its only two employees. Morse became involved more in direct lobbying in Europe, and Blanchard appears to have been semi-retired and little more than a political front for many of its major projects.