Roger Bate is an economist who has held a variety of positions in free market and conservative think tanks and lobby groups including the Institute for Economic Affairs in the UK and the Competitive Enterprise Institute in the United States.
- 1 Background
- 2 Current Activities
- 3 Affiliations
- 4 Funding
- 5 Contact Details
- 6 Articles and Resources
- 7 References
- 8 External links
In the mid-1990s, Bate was an employee of the right-wing British think tank, the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA). He had also worked with the free-market think tank, the Competitive Enterprise Institute in the United States.
In 1998, he published an article in the United Kingdom paper Financial Times attacking the idea of regulating secondhand smoke, cigarette advertising and health warning labels on cigarette packs. He also published an article criticizing the World Health Organization (WHO), which argued that the WHO was trying to eliminate individual freedom.
In the mid 1990s, Bate ran the "Environmental Unit" of the IEA, which took positions to counter health and environmental activism IEA received funding from British American Tobacco (BAT)'s department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (CORA, among others.
Formation of ESEF
In 1994, Roger Bate, then Director of the Environment Unit at the Institute of Economic Affairs, London, and two others and the IEA, established the European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF) in the UK. In addition to being a founding member, Roger Bate was listed a Committee Member of ESEF. ESEF claimed that, to maintain its scientific independence, it did not take donations from any source, but made money only from sales of their materials. However, in 1997, ESEF and The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, which was linked to the tobacco industry, issued a press release in which the two organizations had the same description.
Documents show that the organization's priorities were to attack regulatory science in general, and "establish ESEF as a scare watchdog" for the media. As head of ESEF, Roger Bate had an aim of establishing ESEF as a credible source of information for media, mainly by mobilizing independent, third party scientists to publicly advance industry arguments. One Philip Morris document titled "International Public Health Strategy" describes how ESEF's name could be used to attract scientists who would advocate industry positions.
The ESEF set up a book-editing and editorial-writing program, promoting Risk Assessment in U.K. and European agencies involved in regulation. They also set out to challenge the World Health Organization (WHO) and decry health and environmental activism based on so-called junk science, especially where it related to environmental tobacco smoke, or ETS, and the possibilities of climate change through air pollution.
Work for the tobacco industry
Bate worked for Philip Morris Corporate Services (PMCS) Brussels in the late 1990s at the rate of 800 pounds sterling per day. In a letter to David Greenberg of PM New York dated September 4, 1998, Bate offered to continue working for PM at the same pay rate. In the letter, Bate sought PM's support for his anti-malaria project, saying the project would " ... afford me, and several colleagues, the opportunity of writing opinion articles and books ... about the disparity between the current and correct roles of environmental public health."
Global Warming Activities
Bate countered environmentalists' global warming assertions with a skeptical view of the science .
Bate joined others, such as Fred Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform -- key strategist of Newt Gingrich's Republican Party faction), Fran Smith (editor of Consumer Alert - a corporate funded "consumer" magazine) and a number of other business lobby organisations, in taking a skeptical view on the issue of global warming. However the public had accepted the dangers of environmental tobacco smoke and the reality of global warming, so ESEF went into decline.
Agriculture and Risk
Bate is also joint author, with Julian Morris of a book, Fearing Food: Risk, Health and Environment. The IEA website describes the book in the following way : "In the latest ESEF book, Fearing Food, new agricultural and food technologies, including genetic engineering, are shown to be generally beneficial both to health and to the environment." (Fearing Food was published by Butterworth-Heinemann in September 1999).
Roger Bate's current work focuses on U.S. and international aid policy, performance of aid organizations, and health policy in developing countries, particularly with regard to malaria control and the use of DDT. Between 2003 and 2005 he was the Chairman of Africa Fighting Malaria, a pro-DDT lobby group. He remains a board member of the group.
Bate has written extensively on the benefits of DDT to control the spread of malaria in Africa. The WHO approved the use of DDT for malaria control in September 2006.
Some have criticized Bate for his comments regarding the resurgence of Malaria in Sri Lanka, saying that the cessation of DDT spraying led to "half a million" cases of malaria. The source Bate himself cites explains that DDT spraying was stopped because they thought the disease had been irradicated and immediately restarted when they realized it hadn't. It was later stopped again when the mosquitoes developed resistance, but Bate continued to demand further DDT spraying.
- American Enterprise Institute, Resident Fellow
- Africa Fighting Malaria, Board Member; He was was AFM's Chairman of the Board from 2003 to 2006;
- Institute of Economic Affairs, Director of Environmental Unit, 1993-2000; fellow, 2000-
- European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF), Founder and Executive Director, 1995-2001
- Presenter of the BBC2 program Organic Food: The Modern Myth (2000)
- International Policy Network, Director, 2001-2003, Fellow 2003
- Sustainable Development Network, "Member"
- Competitive Enterprise Institute, Adjunct Fellow
- Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, Advisory Board
- Warburg Securities and Charles Stanley & Co. (stockbrokers), Research Analyst, 1986-1989
A Philip Morris email from a file titled "Consultants" written by John Roberts (position unknown)and sent to Matthew Winokur and David W. Bushong, both of PM, about Roger Bate states, "I think Bate is a very valuable resource and have strongly recommended that he play some role at UN level. I recall that we paid him up to GBP 10,0000 per month ... There is one additional person I would recommend as deserving of consideration too and that is John Bowls. Where Bate's principal interest Is Malaria, Bowls's is mental health, I believe them to be complementary resources. Best wishes, John"
There has been some controversy surrounding a book Bate attempted to fund in the 1990s. In 1996, Roger Bate approached R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for a grant of £50,000 to fund a book on risk, containing a chapter on passive smoking  , but the grant request was denied and the money was never received. That same year he wrote the article "Is Nothing Worse Than Tobacco?," for the Wall Street Journal and in 1997, the ESEF published What Risk? Science, Politics and Public Health, edited by Roger Bate which included a chapter on passive smoking. The Tobacco Institute was involved with a chapter in the book.
In January 2001 the Earhart Foundation contributed $25,000 to the Competitive Enterprise Institute for "the period November 2000 through July 2001 to prepare a monograph When Politics Kills - The Political Economy of Malaria Control, Roger Bate, Research Principal". 
American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
E-mail: RBate At aei.org
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Roger Bate, Financial Times A Myth Stubbed Out April 20, 1998
- Roger Bate, "A New Kind of Health Club,” Wall Street Journal Europe, May 15, 2000
- Author unknown Media file explanned (sic) Undated. British American Tobacco Bates No. 770010321
- Keith Gretton Institute of Economic Affairs January 18, 1995. British American Tobacco Bates No. 503104585
- Roger Bate Letter from Roger Bate to Keith Gretton, November 2, 1995. British American Tobacco Bates No. 700370193
- Lisa MacLellan, Institute for Economic Affairs Letter from Lisa MacLellan to Sharon Boyse enclosing overview of current programme on recent article by Roger Bate, January 8, 1996. British American Tobacco Bates No. 503104845/4846
- Eliza Ong, Tobacco Industry Strategies to Undermine Tobacco Control Activities at the World Health Organization July 2000. Bates No. 770007956-770008214, at Page 221.
- Author unknown European Science and Environment forum Mission statement. Circa 1994. British American Tobacco Bates No. 800160658/0659
- Author unknown. Mission Statement Undated. 2 pp. British American Tobacco Bates No. 325124816-325124817
- RB (Presumed to stand for Roger Bate), ESEF Work for Coming Months Undated. 2 pp. British American Tobacco Bates No. 800160673/0674
- Author unknown. International Public Health Strategy September, 1989. Philip Morris Bates NO. 2065246729/6734
- Institute for Economic Affairs What Risk? - Science, Politics and Public Health Promotional flier. October 1997. 2 pp. British American Tobacco Bates No. 321335478/5479
- Simon Millson Action Points from the WHO International Convention Meeting on Thursday 14 January Undated. British American Tobacco Bates No. 321839838
- Roger Bate Political Economy Research Center Letter, September 4, 1998. Philip Morris Bates No. 2065246736/6737
- Africa Fighting Malaria, "Board & Staff: AFM Board Members", Africa Fighting Malaria website, accessed January 2009.
- Roberts J Bate Email. October 21, 1998. Bates No. 2065246717
- Environmental Risk Proposal. August 7, 1996. R.J. Reynolds Bates No. 515952606/2609
- A. Bryanbrown Dr. Gori Letter. September 15, 1998. Bates No.527890541
- Africa Fighting Malaria, "Form 990 2004", p.4.
- Africa Fighting Malaria, "Form 990 2005", p.5.
Articles By Bate
- Roger Bate, "Antimalarial Drug Quality in the Most Severely Malarious Parts of Africa - A Six Country Study," PLoS ONE, May 2008
- Roger Bate, "DDT Works," The Prospect May 16, 2008
- Roger Bate, "USAID’s Health Challenge: Improving US Foreign Assistance," Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, January 1, 2007
- Roger Bate, "The World Bank: false financial and statistical accounts and medical malpractice in malaria treatment," The Lancet, July 15, 2006
- Roger Bate, "Is Nothing Worse Than Tobacco?," Wall Street Journal Europe, July 24, 1996
- Roger Bate, "Eco-imperialism: Green Power; Black Death", Tech Central Station, January 21, 2004.
- Roger Bate, "Moore Wisdom Needed", Tech Central Station, February 10, 2004 .
- Roger Bate, "WHO’s on Last?: A politicized and irrelevant global agency", National Review, April 19, 2004.
- Roger Bate, "The Wrong Message in a Bottle", New York Times, November 15, 2008.