Arthur D. Little

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Arthur D. Little (ADL) refers to an large and international management consulting firm which conducts biomedical research. It is based in Boston, but works for industries and companies around the world on a contract basis. [2]

The original Arthur Dehon Little was an MIT chemist and the discoverer of the acetate manufacturing process. He died in the 1930s.

The consulting and research functions of ADL operate as a partnership, with individual consultants and research scientists able to control their own work. This allows some of the scientists who worked for the tobacco industry to hide behind Arthur D. Little's general reputation and use it as a front. You therefore can't make much judgement about research done under this company name -- although the politicians like to attach a great deal of credit to the size and international scope of the company.

It had many years of bad management and it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002. The brand-name was sold off to a French company, Altran Technologies. There was a management buyout again in 2011, creating a new shareholder company.

Tobacco Industry

A number of ADL's partners worked for, or closely with, the cigarette companies. There was an Arthur D Little Life Sciences division.

Documents & Timeline


[Excluding Special Project #4 payments and 3i literature research fees.]
Name (and/or project)1965-66
half-year owing
Dr George L Saiger$10,873$23,300  
Darrell Huff $ 5,000$ 4,000$ 1,000
Dr Joseph Berkson$ 4,000$ 8,000$ 8,000
Dr Louis Soloff $ 400$ 145  
Dr Herbert L Ratcliffe $ 200    
Dr Ian Macdonald   $ 1,218  
Gaza de Takatz   $ 50  
Arthur D. Little Inc. [many projects]$100,010$79,502$30,500
PHS Morbidity Study Analysis
      Theodor Sterling
      K Alexander Brownlee
      Leo Katz
      Dr Cecil Sheps
$ 2,873
$ 1,800
Ray Rosenman   $ 1,100  
Dr Travis Winsor [#1]
                  [#2 research in heart disease)
  $ 475
Dr Simon Robard     $18,750
Carl Seltzer     $ 2,090

[Note that this does not include the secret Special Project #4 payments and retainers.]

The above came from a Brown & Williamson file, and also typed directly below (ie clearly intended to be part of the same report) were 245 names of: "Persons from whom statements are still considered a possibility." Only about two dozen of these are known tobacco helpers.] [[3]

1971Arthur D. Little & Company is mentioned by the Thayer opinion (MI, 1971). [1]

1973 Nov 19-26 The New Yorker article "Casualties of the Workplace" about asbestos and occupational health.

Furnished with incontrovertible evidence that industrial disease was rampant in the United States, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, authorizing the Secretary of Labor to promulgate mandatory standards for exposure to toxic materials so that no employee would suffer diminished health or life expectancy as a result of his work experience.

This was a considerable undertaking, since American workers being exposed to thousands of substances, and since federal standards, often inadequate, existed for fewer than four hundred and fifty of them. Of all the industrial hazards, none been studied more thoroughly or had been proved to be more critical than occupational exposure to asbestos.

Note re: Anthony Mazzocchi, the director of the Legislative Department of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers International Union.

Because of similar failures involving dozens of other hazardous substances in hundreds of factories across the land, Mazzocchi was highly skeptical of the (Nixon) Administration's commitment to carry out the provisions of the 1970 Act. Insofar as the asbestos hazard was concernt, his skepticism was reinforced early in April, shortly after the public hearings were concluded, when word got out that the Administration had hired Arthur D Little Inc. to perform an economic-impact study of the proposed two-fibre standard.

[They had reduced this down from five fibres per cc. down to two. Now it is one.]

There were several disturbing factors in this development.

  1. First, there was no provision in the Act requiring the Department of Labor to undertake a cost-benefit analysis before promulgating a health regulation.
  2. Second, the impact study was apparently initiated in response to an executive policy handed down by President Nixon's Office of Management and Budget—an organization notably well disposed toward big business. (See James Tozzi)
  3. Thirdly, by sending out questionnaires soliciting "guess estimates" from doctors as to what the. incidence of disease might be at various levels of exposure to asbestos over long periods, the Arthur D. Little people not only were questioning the exhaustive research already conducted by NIOSH but also were apparently less bent on collecting scientific data than on arriving at a consensus standard that would be more acceptable to industry than the standard recommended by NlOSH.

However, the most ominous aspect of Arthur D. Little's involvement came to light at the beginning of May, when it was learned that even as the firm had been negotiating a contract with the federal government to conduct the cost-benefit analysis of the two-fibre standard, it had urged Raybestos-Manhattan, Inc., (Raymark) a major producer of asbestos products (mainly brake and clutch parts), to move a plant from Stratford, Connecticut, to Mexico, where, of course, asbestos operations would be unhindered by any regulations that might be established in the United States. [4]

1987 An ADL report claimed that the most likely the cause of the Bhopal disaster (which resulted in the death of thousands) was most likely sabotage. At that time ADL was being paid by Union Carbide, the company that owned the chemical plant which was responsible for the disaster. The analysis of the evidence by Arthur D. Little argued against Union Carbide's negligence. Others weren't so sure. [2]


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  1. See Little Inc., Arthur D., also TTLA Almanac - Names.
  2. (Laymon, Brent. "Carbide Consultant Says Sabotage Caused Bhopal Tragedy". AP Report. Associated Press.)