Carl C Seltzer (Doc Index)

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

Carl C Seltzer was a graduate physical anthropologist at the Peabody Museum in the grounds of Harvard University. He managed over the years to elevate his reputation with the media to that of a Cardiologist, and professor at the Harvard University who says that smoking doesn't cause heart disease. Since journalists didn't check, and since both Harvard University and the Peabody Museum didn't correct his claims or take any action against his activities, he and his wife Ruth managed to spend most of their lives in travel and luxury by servicing the tobacco industry.

One of the Seltzer's regular annual holidays was in England staying with his old friend Philip PJ Burch and his wife Jane. Burch still had a position at the University of Leeds, but he was dubious about getting payments from the tobacco industry in the UK -- so these were organised through Seltzer.

Seltzer himself was paid through the Peabody Museum (where he had a position as a physical anthropologist) and then via Harvard's Department of Nutrition, where he was supported by his old friend Professor Frederick Stare.

This is a split entry
Part 1. Carl C. Seltzer
Part 2. This entry
Philip RJ Burch
Frederick Stare

His American academic associates and helpers

His tobacco-funded associates around the world

  • Philip RJ Burch was a Professor at the University of Leeds in the UK. Some of Burch's payments from the US tobacco industry were channeled through Seltzer.
  • Theodor D Sterling of Simon Fraser University.
  • Peter N Lee, the UK statistician. Seltzer acted almost as a go-between for a while for British scientists working with Philip Morris in New York and the Tobacco Institute.

Documents & TimeLine

1908 Born

1933 PhD in physical anthropology at Harvard in 1933.

1940-45 Doing physical measurements of enlisted men at Harvard during the war. These measurements later became the basis of the "Grant Study".

1963 Feb 23- Seltzer finds smokers larger and heavier than non-smokers. [2]

1968 Jan 15 Seltzer challenges smoking-coronary link, in JAMA. [3]

1971 Feb 28 The secret Special Account #4 (six month) account audit for the TIRC shows: Disbursements :-
Consultants' Fees and Expenses :-

Auditing ...................$ 225.00 ........... $17,257.29
Cash in Bank - Feb 28 1971 ........ $54,674.64

Note: there was also a $500 reimbursement to the Canadian Tobacco Industry for a sum advanced to Dr Rene Cederlof [4]

1974 Dec 16 The secret Special Account #4 (six month) account audit for the CTR (Council for Tobacco Research) [ex-TIRC] shows: Disbursements :-
Commitments :-

Projects in 1973 total: $195,952
Projects autorized in 1974: $337,380

Note: only five companies were then participating. [5]

1985 Feb Handnotes of a lawyer from Philip Morris attending the CTR Ad Hoc lawyers meeting.

Anthony Colucci was a contract scientist/disinformation expert working for RJ Reynolds.
James Repace was the activist and anti-smoking scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He estimated that there were 3,000 deaths per year from passive smoking, and the tobacco industry worked hard to discredit him and his associate Lowery.
  • Sorrel Schwartz paper. Went over it with John Rupp.-- Finalize with Schwartz
    Will go to General Council of EPA ... Rupp, Schwartz, Chilcote
    - draft to be ditched
[Rupp was the lawyer John Rupp from Covington & Burling, Sam Chilcote ran the Tobacco Institute. Sorrell Schwartz was a corrupt professor of pharmacology at Georgetown University, and a life-long tobacco scientist. He ran the IAPAG operation also]
  • Burch is still working on his paper -- coordinated by Carl Seltzer
[Carl Seltzer is obviously supervising and coordinating his friend Philip Burch in England in writing an article attacking the Repace claims.]
  • Sterling mde a proposal on Repace -- too broad ?.
Theodor Sterling was proposing a way to attack the conclusions of Repace, but they thought the attack was 'too broad' to succeed. [6]

1985 Apr 10 Bill Kloepfer advises Sam Chilcote at the Tobacco Institute about the availability of witnesses at an upcoming Tax Hearing in Congress:

7. Don Hoel and Bernie O'Neill are seeking an early meeting to determine whether Theodor Sterling will testify. They also will seek statements for the record from Carl Seltzer and, through Carl, from Philip JR Burch. These statements and testimony will deal with the morbidity/mortality data.

In all cases, Institute consultants will assist in the preparation of statements and testimony. [7]

1986 Apr 14 Philip Burch and Carl Seltzer come under attack by Australian scientists in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Lilienfeld complained in his summary that Burch "incompletely presented the findings of several studies or has omittted discussing others more fully."

John Pierce of the School of Public Health, University of Sydney says: I feel some-what exasperated by the way that Burch goes about his attempts to exonerate smoking from having anything to do with disease".

He also quotes Kristein who accuses Burch of a "series of sophisticated abuses of scholarship" which include "misusing and and distorting references", "ignoring logic and evidence", "concentrating on minor points", "using straw men arguments" and "insisting that anything short of absolute statistical perfection is valueless."

[An excellent summary of the tactics employed]


1986 Dec 22 Carl Seltzer now sees his value as acting as a channel between the British tobacco lackeys and the New York offices of Philip Morris. He sends them cuttings (probably from Burch) of articles carried in the UK newspapers.

In this letter to Alexander Holtzman (Philip Morris legal executive) he attacks Professor Nicholas Wald's "case for a significant association between the risk of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the smoking state of people with whom they lived, generally the spouse." Wald's claim about the danger of passive smoking has come under attack by Burge (Birmingham Heartlands Hospital) and Robertson (ACVA/HBI) and also by Philip Burch and Peter N Lee from the UK. He attaches a letter he has written in support of Burch and Lee to the British Medical Journal.

[This attachment was not in files] [9]