Health Research Group

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

The Health Research Group (HRG) was a subdivision of Ralph Nader's "Public Citizen" organisation. It was an anti-smoking group, and it helped publicise the problems with silicone-gel breast implants in the early 1990s.

The main medical administrator of the HRG was Dr Sidney Wolfe.

Documents & Timeline

1992 Feb 18 Lawyers Mongoven Biscoe & Duchin in Washington have conducted for Phillip Morris a literature research project on three anti-smokers:

  • Dr Sydney Wolfe of the Health Research Group "Sydney" is also correctly spelled "Sidney" later in the same document.
  • Cliff Douglas of the American Lung Association and
  • Scott Ballin of the American Heart Association

Dr Sidney Wolfe
Wolfe is a physician and prior to co-founding Public Citizen (of which the Health Research Group is a division) with Ralph Nader, was a researcher at the National Institutes of Health. He graduated from Western Reserve University ('now Case Western Reserve) in 1960 and the School of Medicine in 1965.

Wolfe has done research at the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases . He is the author of Worst Pills, Best Pills, which deals with medication and the elderly. The book has received the endorsement of the American Association of Retired Persons. Wolfe's work focuses on the safety of medication, food additives, FDA procedures and the pharmaceutical industry. He is considered the foremost critic of pharmaceutical companies in America and frequently testifies before the Congress on health and pharmaceutical issues.

Wolfe was honored by the MacArthur Foundation with a $320,0010 award in July 1990. The standards for the so-called "genius" grants are not known to the public. Wolfe stated"Without Ralph Nader, nothing would have been possible." He also stated that he was pleased to see that the Foundation, which "can be considered part of the establishment, has recognized the

efforts of a group that is at odds with the establishment institutions."[2]

1979 Nov A tobacco industry briefing document says:

Health Research Group:
Activities: HRG's first concern was with cancer hazards in the workplace, but it issued a "study" on tobacco price supports in 1975, writing President Carter that "tobacco program money should be spent on anti-smoking campaigns."

In 1976, it petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration unsuccessfully to prohibit smoking by commercial airline crews. It has been critical of the National Cancer Program, saying it is inefficient and worthless, and of hospitals that allow smoking on premises.

Sources of funding: No information available.

Organization: An affiliate of Ralph Nader's Public Citizen, Inc. It was formed in 1973 with an internal medicine director. Dr. Sidney Wolfe, as director and chairman. [3]


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