Ian C Munro

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

Ian Munro was a Canadian consultant toxicologist who ran the Canadian Center for Toxicology (CCT), and later Cantox (aka Cantox Health Sciences and Intertek Cantox) at Guelph, Ontario. His directorships of both organisations overlapped by two years (1990-1992) but they appear to have been quite separate organisations with the CCT being a Canadian government agency.

This probably means that he was running Cantox on the side while holding a government position with CCT.
Intertek is also known as Intertek Health Scieces Inc in Mississauga, Ontario.

Cantox is not a scientific research organisation so much as an "expert testimony" organisation which has been set up to help corporations with problems.

According to Munro's obituary [2] he was a founding shareholder of Cantox in 1985, and President of the company from 1990 to 2006. He was also director of the Canadian Centre for Toxicology from 1983 to 1992 and a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto so he began his career as a legitimate researcher as a toxicologist.

Munro was also a close associate of George L Carlo who was picked by PR firm Ketchum PR to run the American Wireless Technology Research scam for the Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA (now Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association).

Munro joined Carlo in running the multimillion dollar program, supposedly to test the safety of the digital pulsed-power cellular phones (D-AMPS and GSM technologies) which were then being widely used in the market -- and suspected of having potential health risks (mainly increased rates of brain cancer). The WTR scam managed to spend millions of CTIA dollars without actually ever conducting any viable research, but they did mount a strong campaign to discredit Drs Henry Lai and Narendra Singh at the University of Washington who consistently found DNA breaks in the brain cells of experimental rats.

Munro went on to work for many companies which had problems with the secondary health effects of food additives, substitutes, colorings, etc. He specialised in running panels of scientific friends who never found a substance they didn't like.

Puff pieces

A past member of the board of directors of the Toxicology Forum, Munro held memberships in the Society of Toxicology and the American College of Toxicology. He served on numerous national and international committees, including those of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.


CANTOX - An Intertek Company is an internationally-recognized scientific consulting firm with expertise in toxicology, risk assessment, product safety, regulatory affairs, and scientific communication, and provides expert advice to industry, trade associations, and legal firms. CANTOX has been serving global clients for 25 years, and now has a staff of about 85 individuals located in 4 offices (Mississauga, ON, Canada; Bridgewater, NJ, USA; Fleet, United Kingdom; and Tokyo, Japan) and clients and projects in 120 countries across six continents. Total sales ($10-24 million Canadian Dollars) [3]

Critical Statements

Ian Munro is a big-wig at Cantox in Canada, a company which serves exclusively corporate interests. The mission statement for Cantox is that they are there "to provide expert, flexible, & timely support to our clients," the clients being huge corporations, including Monsanto. And the code word there is "flexible," not factual.

One of Cantox's big money-making things is providing "expert testimony" in the courts, public interviews, & editorials shaped to look a bit like science appearing in journals posing as academic but which are not published by any university or scientific institution & are not peer-reviewed. Whenever some poison manufacturer needs a SCIENTIST instead of an attorney or PR flack to take an oath in court or answer public concerns, they call Cantox. Cantox provides what they call "third party technical liasons" who set out to firmly support whatever is the corporate "take" on matters of product safety. Cantox also assists corporations like Dow Corning and Monsanto is formulating "regulatory strategies" -- how to put the best face on ANYthing in order to get governments all around the world to rubber-stamp the given corporation's requirements. [4]

This information is included only because the other information the author offers as part of this diatribe is provably correct, and he is knowledgeable about the subject.

Documents & Timeline

1939 Sep 13 Born

  • Munro graduated from McGill University in biochemistry and nutrition, and held a doctorate degree from Queen's University in pharmacology and toxicology. Munro was a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, London.

  • Senior positions at Health Canada - as director of the bureau of chemical safety and director general of the food directorate, health protection branch.

    While with the health protection branch, Munro was responsible for research and standard setting activities of the branch related to microbial and chemical hazards in food and the nutritional quality of the Canadian food supply. He contributed to the development of risk assessment procedures in the field of public health, both nationally and internationally, through membership on various committees.

1975 Achievement Award from the Society of Toxicology in 1975. [5]

1982 Jan/E The Universities of Guelph and Toronto have jointly established the Canadian Centre for Toxicology which will function as a consortium of universities, industries and governments. The director's position was given the rank of full professor. [1]

1983 to 1992 Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. [6]

1985 Mar Ian Munro is one of the co-editors of Toxicological Risk Assessment along with one co-editor from the Bureau of Chemical Safety and another from Health & Welfare Canada.[7]

1985 Munro was one of the founders of Cantox this year, while still holding down the position of Director of 'Canadian Centre for Toxicology [8]

1986 Nov 7 Ian Munro has attended a Workshop at RJ Reynolds Nabisco's Corporate Center o Excellence in Toxicology along with the company's own scientists + legitimate scientists from FDA and EEC/UK. It was run by A Wallace Hayes [9] [10]

1989 June 21 Wally Hayes, VP R&D Research at RJ Reynolds is putting together a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) for the Syntax Project. He is in favour of selecting members from other SABs.

"Ian Munro, Ph .D . ; Director, Canadian Center for Toxicology. Recognized expert in safety evaluation of food additives and novel foods . Currently serving on the FEMA expert Panel . " [11]

[FEMA = Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association]

1990 He takes over as Director of the old partnership of Cantox, while still retaining his position as director of the Canadian Center for Toxicology.

1990 Aug A claim published in the Reg. Toxicology & Phrarmacology by Ian Munro, Canadian Center for Toxicology:

The presence of substances at extremely low levels in the diet may be considered GRAS in specific instances.

(GRAS= 'Generally Recognised As Safe').

Supporting this conclusion, a panel of renowned independent experts convened by the Canadian Center for Toxicology concluded that substances present in the diet at concentrations of 1.0 ppb or below can be considered safe even if no toxicity testing has been performed on the specific chemical, provided that there is no reason to believe that the substance demonstrates unusual toxicological properties.

For substances with some toxicity data indicating lack of genotoxic potential, a higher level may be determined safe based upon classical toxicological principles as outlined in various regulatory guidelines. Based on the principles discussed in the

Canadian report, it is reasonable for a company to take the position that low levels of nontoxic substances may be considered GRAS in certain applications. [12]

(This, of course, is the complete inverse of the "Precautionary Principle" which holds that new potentially-toxic substances introduced into the diet or environment should be considered dangerous unless proven to be safe.)

1991 Dec Ian Munro and George Carlo have 'convened an independent scientific review panel to evaluate critically the methodology and finds of a study by Hayes et al (1991). The panel was supported by the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data. (ie dioxins in herbicides). [13]

1992 Munro has left his position as director of the Canadian Centre for Toxicology (1983-92), which he simultaneously held for two-years with his Presidentcy of Cantox (1990-2006). [14] (remove last digit)

1992 DecRegulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology has published "Review of a study reporting an association between 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and canine malignant lymphoma: The expert panel:

  • George L. Carlo (Health and Environmental Sciences Group, Ltd., Washington, DC, USA),
  • Philip Cole, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294, USA
  • Anthony B. Miller, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto M5S 1A1, Canada
  • Ian C. Munro, CanTox, Inc., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Keith R. Solomon Centre for Toxicology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada
  • Robert A. Squire, Division of Comparative Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA [15]
It is never explained how the primary study by Hayes et al, and this panel evaluation by this cabal of critics (all science for sale entrepreneurs) managed to get their counter arguments published in the same issue of the same magazine. It does help to know that W Gary Flamm' one of their associates, was editor at the time.

1995 Nov 6 Tobacco Institute's 1995 expenditures on experts for OSHA hearings and submissions.

Cantox Inc , May, June & July ... $35,093


2000 Dec 20 The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CNR) was objecting to the procedures being followed by the FDA for a "proposed rule on ephedra" (used as a dietary supplement). Because of:

(1) potentially pivotal new data on ephedra were scheduled to be released within a few months by researchers at Columbia and Harvard universities, and
(2) a CRN-sponsored quantitative risk assessment by Cantox Health Sciences International (Cantox risk assessment) was under way and would be completed soon after the Columbia/Harvard data became available.

Cantox’s President, Ian Munro, Ph.D., is a world renowned regulatory toxicologist and is Chairman of the UL Subcommittee, Food and Nutrition Board, U.S. National Academies. Cantox’s principal investigator on the ephedra risk assessment project was Earle Nestmann, Ph.D., a Cantox Principal, who is a recognized authority in toxicology with extensive experience in regulatory issues and risk assessment. The ephedra risk assessment was contracted by CRN and funding was provided from CRN operating funds, not uniquely from members with a special interest in ephedra.

CRN urges FDA to adopt scientific conclusions based on the Cantox risk assessment on ephedra and is committed to work with FDA and other Federal authorities on appropriate implementation. [17]

2009 Oct Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology reports on a study "An overview of the safety of sucralose" by Lee Grotz (McNeil Nutritionals) and Ian Munro (Cantox Health Sciences) 'confirming that sucrolose (Splenda sweetener) is safe. This counters another study of Splenda (published in the same issue ????) on male rats by AW Hayes et al which found that it suppresses bacterial in the gut, leading to fattening. [18]

2010 The International Life Science Institute's Nutrient Group consists of:

  • Sanford Miller (U Maryland),
  • Joseph Rodricks (ENVIRON), (tobacco)
  • Ian Munro (CANTOX),
  • A. Catharine Ross (Pennsylvania State),
  • Robert Russell (Tufts),
  • Elizabeth Yetley (retired NIH) [19]

2011 Apr 27 Munro dies after battling prostate cancer for three years.


  1. New Scientist magazine advertisement 4 Mar 1982