Francisco Radler de Aquino Neto

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

Dr Francisco Radler de Aquino was enlisted by the law firm Covington & Burling into a small group of Latin American academics and medical specialist who were willing to act under cover for the tobacco industry in their own countries. They were supposedly specialists in the health dangers of second-hand smoke [ETS or Environmental Tobacco Smoke]. They were called "ETS Consultants" in the documents, but labeled simply as Whitecoats in casual correspondence. They were actually enlisted as lobbyists since they had no consulting role with the tobacco companies whatsoever, and they did no research and they published no reports of any value.

These ETS Consultants were a disparate group of academics with a range of skills and expertise who needed to be taught about second-hand smoke problems so they would be useful as local or regional witnesses (mainly in fighting smoking bans). They were also to attend any conferences on the subject, provide reports to the tobacco industry, and promote the industry position among the experts without revealing that they were employed by the industry.

For instance: Drs Aquino and Jari Cardoso Nobrega (both Brazil) were laboratory partners who worked together. The report on them as ETS Consultants reveals the emphasis on their propaganda value only:

On the understanding that the local companies in Brazil wish to conduct ETS measurements in buildings and are particularly interested in recruiting chemists, and given Dr Miguel's limited availability, I would recommend Drs Neto and Nobrega. They are Professors of Chemistry at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and together they operate a chemical research laboratory (Institute de Quimica, Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro, IIha do Fundao). I met with them together, and I cannot see how we could work with one and not the other. Fortunately, both appear qualified. [2]

Both of these Analytical Chemists had worked for BAT (Souza Cruz) before, and Aquino Neto went on to work for tobacco for many years.[3] Both are listed on the 1994 list
Latin American ETS Consultants Program
Latin American ETS (Doc Index)
Bariloche Conference

Documents & Timeline

The first group of ETS Consultants were recruited in the USA and grouped together under a pseudo-scientific society known as IAPAG [Indoor Air Pollution Advisory Group] run by Sorell Schwartz and Nancy Balter out of the Pharmaceutical Department of Georgetown University. It had a parallel scientific legitimate front known as CEHHT [Center for Health & Human Toxicology]. In England, the ETS Consultants were controlled by Industrial Hygienists George Leslie and Professor Roger Perry who was an air-conditioning specialist at London's Imperial College through ARIA (Associates for Research on Indoor Air) which did no research. Scandanavia had EGIL [translated: Expert Group on Indoor Air/Luft] run by Tors Malmfors (Sven Eric Torbjorn Malmors), and the Asian Consultantcy group was run by Sara Liao in Hong Kong through an organisations known as ARTIST Asian Regional Tobacco Industry Science Team.

A dozen or so of these "ETS Consultants"" were recruited in Latin America during the 1991-1995 period. They may have been grouped into the APAIAQ Asian Pacific Association for Indoor Air Quality which was formed in January 1990. Further details are in the Latin American ETS (Doc Index) entry.

1991 Mar 27 John Rupp, the main legal advisor to the international tobacco industry from Covington & Burling has written to Sharon Boyse, the head of public relations at BAT and its US subsidiary Brown & Williamson. He reminds her that the had agreed to set up an ETS Consultant group in Latin America and includes a list of potential candidates. [1] Radler is prominent on their list. [2]

1991 Jul 26 The Brazilian subsidiary of British American Tobacco, Souza Cruz, has nominate four potential recruits. Their names have been sent to both the BAT Issues Manager, Sharon Boyse in England, and to the lawyers Covington & Burling in Washington DC, who will do the initial interviews with all the potential recruits, to conceal any tobacco industry involvement until the nominee has been checked out. The BAT/Souza Cruz nominees were Drs. Antonio H Miguel, Francisco Radler de Aquino Neto, Celio Paula Motta, and Jari Cardoso Nobrega. [3]

1992 Feb 24-26: A three-day training meeting of the Latin American recruits was held at the Fontainebleau Hilton Hotel in Miami where each recruit gave a paper on a relevant subject. This was not a conference, but a personal bonding and training session and a meeting of the recruits. There is nothing in any of these papers that would be considered of even moderate interest in scientific circles in 1992. [4] This tactic was a standard way the industry provided their new recruits with some form of published credentials to establish that they were genuine 'experts' in this field. The published proceedings of a scientific conference including an abstract or full report of a study supposedly the work of the named recruit, gave them standing as an expert.

Those from the 1991 list who attended were Carlos B Alvarez,   Celio Paula Motta,   Antonio H Miguel,   Jari N Cardosa,   Francisco Radler de Aquino Neto,   Remigio O Lopez Solis,   Maria del Rosario Alfaro,   Cesar Leonel Gonzalez Camargo,   Lionel Gil,   Osvaldo Fustinoni,   Bruno Burger,   Zinnia Cordero,   Eduardo Souchon.

1995 May 24 Antonio H Miguel (the most prominent Latin American Whitecoat) has written to Charles Lister, the assistant to John Rupp at Covington & Burling. He wants two checks (for $3,000 and $1,395.14) to be sent to him at Caltech in Pasadana, California. He writes that he is willing to act as the host for a one-day IAQ meeting in Sao Paulo and is setting up the conference. He also suggests that they invite Prof Francisco Radler, and Dr Andre Allen who have co-authored a paper. However he wants someone else to sign the invitations. [5]

1996 Oct 26: A tobacco industry budget accounting document shows Radler being paid $15,000 for "Cover and report on scientific meetings and provide technical reviews of scientific information." [6]

1996-97: In late 1996 Philip Morris reorganised its public and scientific relations division, creating the WRA (Worldwide Regulatory Affairs) and the WSA (Worldwide Scientific Affairs). The WSA was run by pharmacologist/research administrator Cathy Ellis (later Catherine Ellis Hunter of Hunter International) and molecular biologist and Vice President of Scientific Affairs Richard Carchman. The main work in running the South American operations was left with Bruce D. Davies. Bruce Davies lists and explains his contacts in Latin America in a note to his new boss, Cathy Ellis.

  • He has made friends with Dr (William S) 'Bill' Richert (Chemist/Statistician Chairman of the Canadian General Standards Board of Tobacco Testing Methods)
  • He has a strong working relationship with Francisco Radler and Jari Cardosa (President of Brazilian Air Quality Society - a branch of the Brazilian Chemical Society)
  • He has retained Dr Antonio Miguel of the University of California, Riverside (also worked for the World Bank) as a consultant.
  • Also dealing with Dr Pablo Cicero, of the Californian EPA (via Miguel, and with Mexican connections)
  • Miguel and Davies were meeting with Dr Adrian Fernandez, Mexico's Environmental Management and Information (likely to become a consultant)

The in-house scientists Edward 'Ted' Sanders is helping them meet with the World Bank to discuss the possibility of Philip Morris getting a seat on the Latin American Air Quality Studies Steering Committee. [7]

1997 Oct 6: Radler is working with Bruce D Davies of Philip Morris, Mgr of Scientific Affairs, Latin America. He is sending expense claims for Dr Brikus who he met at the Healthy Buildings '97 meeting last week - she has a position with the Ministry of Health,

Davies notes that Philip Morris now have a rule that no business can be conducted over the internet, so, in future, they must use the phone of fax. [8]