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

The European Science and Environment Forum was created by the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) at the request of the international tobacco industry (Philip Morris leading) in early 1994, specifically to mimic what they believed was the successful launch in the USA of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition.   TASSC had been created by PR firm APCO, under the control of Steven J Milloy to promote the idea that 'junk-science' was rife in academia (especially in air pollution research), and that 'sound science' was needed -- along with their own proposed new research standards (called Good Epidemiology Practices GEP) -- rather than further regulation by the Nanny State.

The problem wasn't entirely without foundation; while 95% of the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problem came from cigarette smoke pollution, at this time there was little attention being paid to other chemicals and especially to noxious exudates, such as out-gassing from polystyrene foam wall insulation, synthetic carpets, photocopying fluids and the like. By directing attention at these secondary pollution sources in office and home environments, the cigarette industry hoped to deflect attention away from ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke) ... and therefore from the so-called health problem of 'passive smoking'. Until this time the industry's main defence had been that people chose to smoke -- so any harm to their health, was of no one's concern other than their own.

By couching smoking in human-rights terms (and neglecting the role of nicotine addiction) they had delayed smoking regulation in public places. But once passive smoking had been proved to effect the health of non-smokers, they no longer had this 'personal choice' argument. They therefore turned their attention on attacking the science (or rather, the science not under their control).

In the 1980s and early 1990s the science was not totally convincing, and it was easily confused and conflicted by industry-funded counter-science. TASSC in the USA and the ESEF in the UK were both created to attack the legitimate science, and Steven J Milloy and writer PJ O'Rourke (satarists) were hired to run TASSC and some other related scams. Right-wing curmudgeon columnists, Bernard Levin, Auberon Waugh and James Le Fanu were paid to tour the world spreading their anti-"Nanny State" message, and with other raconteurs and celebrity intellectuals like Peter L Berger, they created a fashion of laughing at the plethora of 'junk-science'.

The first director, Roger Bate transfered over from the IEA Environmental Unit with his associates Julian Morris and Lorraine Mooney. They didn't have the satirical talent of Steve Milloy or O'Rourke but they were able to churn out stories and press-releases for the less discriminating UK press - especially the European Wall Street Journal.


Roger Bate (head of Environment Unit, IEA) Lorraine Mooney (secretary then manager from IEA) Julian Morris (co-director/co-writer from IEA) Keith Harley Peter Schneider Bonnie Gruen

Documents & Timeline

1994 MarchThe Institute of Economic Affairs formally launched its Environment Unit under Roger Bate, Lorraine Mooney and Julian Morris. it was focused on defending the pesticide industry from activist attacks, especially the threat to ban DDT. They also obviously had a commission to defend the packaging industry which is seen as the ultimate creator of the problem of waste, incineration and landfill scarcity. They disapprove of laws requiring 'eco-labelling' in Europe and publish their first book on global warming. [2]

Note: This document credits Roger Bate as having a MSc in 'Environmental and Resource Economics' (no university specified) which was later extended in the retelling to a PhD and a few other academic specialities.

The IEA Environment Unit had contributions from Amoco, BHP Minerals/Western Mining (Australia), BP, The Dulverton Trust, The Earhart Foundation (U.S.), Esso, Sir Chips Keswick, Touche Ross, Trimite, and Whale Tankers (liquid waste tankers).

1994 Philip Morris's Worldwide Regulatory Affairs (WRA) division is considered the usefulness of publishing its own guidelines for "Good Epidemiology Practices." As Mayada Logue's close associate, Thomas Borelli, [Head S&T PM USA] commented, Philip Morris thought it would a "good offensive strategy" for Philip Morris-affiliated scientists to undertake the revision of "standard epidemiological practice," so Philip Morris issued new guidelines for endorsement by a "sound science coalition" and planned seminars with carefully screened groups of epidemiologists. [Source Elisa K. Ong, The Lancet , April 8, 2000]

1994 Worldwide Strategy Plan was to incorporate Good Epidemiological Practices (GEP) into legislation and risk assessment guidelines. The new fake standard had been devised by George Carlo and a group of 'tobacco consultant' scientists, and within Philip Morris the GEP Working Group in the World Regulatory Affairs (WRA) division in Washington was trying to promote it to Congress as a globally accepted standard.

It was actually a standard which could be stretched to such levels that no regulator could ever effectively use it as the basis for regulatory activity.. [3]

1994 Feb /E The outline of the reasons for a Sound Science (EuroTASSC) operation. This later became the European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF) which was a subsidiary of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) run by Roger Bate.

  • The Situation
    • European regulations proliferate despite scientific evidence
      • Livestock growth hormone
      • Restrictions on chlorine (pesticides)
      • Restrictions on biotechnology (GM)
      • EU Drinking Water Directive
      • Ban on BST milking hormone
    • Many industries trying to establish groups to "communicate science" and "to lobby"
      • EUFIC - Food industry
      • SAGB biotechnology
      • Heidelberg Appeal (global warming)
  • The Need
    • Create a strong scientific voice to:
      • Articulate general need for policy based on sound science
      • Praise good decisions; condemn bad ones
      • Educate policy leaders on how to use science better
  • The Concept
    • Create a scientific "Network" or "Coalition" with a mission to:
      • Identify how public policy can better reflect good science
      • Educate opinion leaders/politicians on these issues
      • Speak out on selected issues
    • Link Coalition with:
      • Existing European groups (EUFIC, etc.)
      • US based "TASSC"
    • Members to be scientists and, perhaps, policy makers
  • Next Step: Assessment
    • B-M, C&B and APCO team with experience in science and contacts in scientific community
(Note: Burson-Marstellar, Covington & Burling, APCO Worldwide). Two-month time frame.
  • Objectives:
    • Determine feasibility
    • Find potential leadership
    • Find potential sponsorship
    • Recommend form of institutionalization
    • Plan for first 18 months with budget
  • Budget: $50,000
    • Goal: Organization launched by end 1994 [4]

1994 Jul 4 The Good Epidemiological Practices (GEP) project and EuroTASSC merge. This is the preliminary mission-statement/draft resolution about establishing a Sound Science Coalition. See other pages in file also.[5]

1994 Jun 16 Matt Winokur who ran WRA at Philip Morris then sends a note to a list of PM organisers about the formation of the new Scientific Coalition and GEP saying:

APCo (the old spelling of APCO Worldwide) is completing its evaluation of a [Sound Science] Symposium for Europe in the fall. They have forwarded the draft Guiding Scientific Principles (or GEP) which would constitute the outcome of such a meeting.

[Note: they have already drafted the conclusions to a symposium not yet organised or held!]

They are on the right track but the language is too vague. (Tom) Borelli and (Richard) Carchman will review and tighten. Obviously, any output from the symposium must be supportive of GEP. So the bottom line for both the GEP resolution and GEP Symposium must be in synch. Burson (Marsteller) has begun its feasibility review based on a more explicit understanding that GEP is what we are interested in promoting.

I gather from Jim [Lindheim of B-M] that there may have been a misunderstanding as to whether or not Burson was to have proceeded with the review prior to the presentation of a 'joint' proposal [APCO and B-M]. I was aware that Burson began, and take responsibility for allowing them to proceed. If you don't want to pay for it then I will. But the intelligence obtained from their interviews with potential coalition sponsors as well as information about analagous efforts by existing groups, e.g., Heidelberg (Appeal), will be critical to the development of a comprehensive Burson/APCo proposal.

[Note: after a territory battle, Philip Morris had suggested that rivals APCO and B-M present this as a joint proposal. It became merged with the Heidelberg Appeal and the climate change controversy because APCO had also created the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), with S. Fred Singer at the helm. He and his wife Candace Crandall were the main global warming deniers at the time. The Heidelberg Appeal was closely related to the GEP concept - and both were mostly (but not exclusively) funded by tobacco. ]

The Burson research is necessary now in order to tell us whether it is possible or efficient to try to develop an enduring ['Sound Science'] coalition following on from the symposium. Possible, in that there may prove to be an insufficient amount of interest in the corporate sector for such a movement. Efficient, in that there may already exist analagous groups which we could use without going to the effort of starting one from scratch.

And we need to be careful not to step on unseen toes. For example, Bruce Ames is part of TASSC and Heidelberg. Do we need/want him on a third group in Europe?

Thus the benefit in having Burson complete the study now, is that what they learn will be factored into both the content of the symposium AND inform us as to what options are available after the symposium concludes. If we only want a one off event, that's our decision. But I would think we'd at least want a mechanism to be able to tap the participants to later on endorse the GEP resolution in the appropriate EU institutions.

The Burson research will also turn up corporate interest in GEP in general which may help us identify allies regardless of whether we do either a symposium or create a coalition. The presentation therefore at the next TF (Task Force) mtg. will be a single proposal for PM prepared jointly by Burson and APCo. And I've asked Margery [Krause of APCO] and Jim [Lindheim of B-M] to come themselves, as well as any other support staff they may wish to have accompany them. [6]






Sharon Boyse to lunch [12]

Accounts with MBS [13]

Junk science interview [14]

1996 The ESEF's Mission Statement. [15] It claims that its funding comes from selling books.

1998 Aug Long list of Academic members [16]

1998 Sep The BAT Corporate funding plan for 1999 (and following years) is with the Corporate and Regulatory Affairs (CORA) division of British American Tobacco (BAT). CORA has produced a long and detailed budget. They have allocated

  • (# 6A61.814) Support for International establishment of TASSC - £50,000
  • Citzens for the Integrity of Science £50K in 1998, £75K in 1999, £50K in 2000, and £51.8K in 2001. (See page 321324329)


The support for TASSC in Europe (which was BAT's domain) was for the ESEF operation. The CIS think-tank was a new operation started up in the USA by Steve Milloy and Michael Gough.

1999 Sept 16: The Science & Regulation division of the British-American Tobacco (BAT) company had expenditure details and a budget forecast for the following year. These figures are well below the previous outlays of this division. Notable line items were:

  • WHO Project - this had a budget allocation for consultants of £149K
  • Smoking & Health - spent £ 239K, mostly on "Commissioning new reviews of science".
  • Statistician Peter N Lee was funded £45K for one project, £44K for maintaining a database, and £18K for two book projects
  • The Canadian scam artist, John Luik was being paid £18K as a final payment on his 'Plain Packaging Project', and another £30,000 for a Book on Formula 1 racing.
  • Corrupt scientist Gio B Gori and his Health Policy Center were to get £22K for one project, and another £40K for working on the GEP project and the Toxicology Forum.
  • Francis JC Roe was owed three amounts via Roe Byfiekt (??) (also a Graeme Roe)
  • Professor Ian Hindmarch's £4,000 fees were paid via "Psychopharma"
  • One of the Witorsch brothers (probably Philip) was to be paid £31K via the CEHHT.
  • Think Tank Programs -- they listed two:
  • Product Issues
  • General consultancies had been allocated £36,900
  • Paper on rights, moderation and mortality - £ 39,000
  • Weinberg Group were putting together a think tank on ingredients for BAT outlay of £ 9,000. Also budgeted for South America £4K
  • Understanding ETS had roadshows and people employed to criticise the WHO, for a budget of £ 51,700
  • Public Smoking & Health Policy
  • Marketing Freedoms (right to advertise and promote cigarettes)