Latin American ETS (Doc Index)

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The executives of Philip Morris and British American Tobacco (the two US/European companies with Latin American subsidiaries) met in Guetemala and struck and agreement to have the law firm Covington & Burling actively recruit 14 medical 'consultants' who could be taught something about Environmental Tobacco Smoke, and then become the 'ETS Consultants' (and secret tobacco industry spokespersons) in their respective countries. C&B were to use lists put up by the tobacco company subsidiaries, and they would then be checked out by the lawyers - this guaranteed deniability if any of the medical specialists decided to expose what was happening.

This list below represents the 25% or so who agreed to become secret industry agents. They were put through a training program in Rio.

Documents & Timeline

Latin American ETS Consultants Program
Latin American ETS (Doc Index)
Bariloche Conference

1991 Mar 27 The decision had been made by Philip Morris and British American Tobacco to recruit 14 medical ETS/IAQ Experts in Latin America. The lawyers Covington & Burling werer given the job of interviewing the prospective recruits. At this stage they only had names -- the prospective recruits had not been approached. [2]

1991 Apr 9 Sharon Boyse, the Issues Manager at British-American Tobacco in the UK (later B&W in the USA) has written to tobacco lawyer John Rupp at Covington & Burling in New York. She says that the Chilean tobacco staff have difficulty in coming up with constructive comments or suggestions on the list of proposed ETS Consultants for Latin America. She also wanted to know what they intended to do with Dr Tezano-Pinto who had already been identified in the media as a tobacco tout. [3]

On the same day she writes to her company representative in Chile saying that she has asked C&B to add Tezanos-Pinto to their list … but that C&B "prefer to contact people themselves in an attempt to maintain independence of consultants from individual companies." [4]

Obviously the self-delusionary aspects of this operation were important for the lawyers self-respect.

1991Background to the ETS Consultants recruitment program
The American tobacco industry lobby was primarily directed by a group of corporate executives at Philip Morris, using the services of the Washington tobacco law firm Covington & Burling (C&B), to protect itself from legal 'discovery'. By the 1990s, the Tobacco Institute had re-asserted its role (under Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds) as the primary channel for lobbying in the USA, and had begun to extend its influence to involve both North and South America. It was also running the WhiteCoats (recruitment of scientific 'consultant' in Europe and Asia). Philip Morris called these recruited academics and medical specialists 'WhiteCoats' while the lawyers knew them as 'IAQ/ETS Consultants.'

Potential recruits were approached through the lawyers, usually on the advice of other recruits. The lawyer would then conduct an interview where the scientist or academic would be ensured that their involvement would be kept secret, and so they could maintain the ethical position of an 'independent' and deny any direction from the tobacco industry since they would always be dealing through a lawyer or a third-party scientific society (like IAPAG or ARIA). Payment for services could also be channelled through these third-parties.

Since most recruits had no knowledge of the engineering, medical or health problems of second-hand smoke (ETS) they were to be put through a brief training program developed and run at the Tobacco Institute under the name "College of Tobacco Knowledge". To provide them with a semblance of credentials in this new area of 'expertise', they would probably also be given speaking engagements at one of the many closed or controlled (by the industry) conferences on held around the world on the indoor air environment -- which always sought to point the finger for second-hand smoke problems at outside air pollution, carpet exudates, formaldehyde, radon, CO2.

Free travel and luxury accommodation for closed conferences held in exotic locations was also a major factor in the benefits of working for tobacco. They also got to socialize with a group of like-minded mercenary contemporaries who would be available to "peer review" any research papers they might later submit (on a 'you-scratch-my-back' principle) to one of the industry's compliant journals.
Note: Anyone on this list has already been approached and has agreed to serve as a tobacco tout if the industry selects, trains them, pays them generously and keeps their involvement secret. However the pickings were slim: they were forced to consider a number of possibilities who were over 80 years of age.
There was a much longer list of possibilities -- especially badly needed Epidemiologists -- and its obvious that 90% on this list refused to work for tobacco. [5]

1991 July 14 A training session for a group of Latin American ETS/IAQ Consultants was to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August. The lawyer Patrick S Davies (C&B) has checked out a list of medical/scientific consultants and is providing the Tobacco Institute with reasons to invite his suggested list to an initial training session on ETS. [6]

The real interest in these notes is that they demonstrate that the lawyers idea of an ETS/IAQ Consultant has nothing to do with 'consulting' -- but everything to do with their potential as media promoters and their willingness to claim that ETS was a safe and at most a minor irritation, and that smoking as an individual's enjoyable pastime and possibly a basic human right. The recruit's academic qualifications and expertise had only one value to the tobacco industry -- and that was to establish them as 'independent public minded experts' when attacking the weight of accumulated evidence against cigarettes on health and environmental grounds.

1991 July 26 Aurora Gonzalez who ran the Latin American projects at PMI Corporate Affairs from New York has written to Tom Borelli (Science & Technology Manager, Philip Morris). She has insisted that C&B recruit two Ecuador consultants and keep the total count to 14 recruits overall. [7]

They eventually settled on Alonso Armijos Luna but they ignored a smoker, Dr Rodrigo Alban Villalba because he refused to smoke in front of his children believing that "ETS posed a health hazard to them." This leaves no doubt that the recruitment was part of a conspiracy of the tobacco companies with Covington & Burling. The law firm was not acting in the legal capacity in any way -- it was helping the companies commit a crime.

1991 Jul 26 The Brazilian subsidiary of British American Tobacco, Souza Cruz, has nominate four potential recruits - sent to both their 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 the involvement of tobacco 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. [8]

1. Dr Carlos B Alvarez. (Argentina)
Dr Alvarez is the Director of a well-known cardiovascular clinic in Buenos Aires (Institute de las Clinicas Cardiovaeculares). He is also a professor at the University of Buenos Aires Medical School, a member of the American College of Cardiology, and a technical and scientific advisor to Carlos Menen, the President of Argentina. Dr Alvarez has already consulted for the companies in lawsuits involving allegations of cardiovascular disease from ETS exposure. Clearly, he shares the industry's view on this issue. He also has considerable media experience. As far as English is concerned, he claims to read it well, but does not like to speak it.
He went on to become a major tobacco lobbyist.
2. Dr Eduardo Gros. (Argentina)
Dr Gros is a Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires. He recently spent five months at the National Institutes of Health (USA) doing research on "frog poison." He smokes. He thinks governments in Latin America should concentrate on ambient air pollution instead of indoor air contaminants. He is not shy about talking to the

press. His English is good. He has a sense of humor, and would probably be easy to work with. Chris Proctor (of C&B/BAT) has worked with Dr Gros in the past, and recommends him. Dr Gros is interested in conducting measurements of ETS in buildings, but thinks he may lack some of the necessary

However he pulled out of the consultants program in 1991.
3. Dr Osvaldo Fustinoni. (Argentina)
Dr Fustinoni, a physician, is President of the National Academy of Sciences of Buenos Aires. (Academia de Ciencias de Buenos Aires.) He presided over the Bariloche symposium. Apparently, he does not believe that ETS poses a major health risk. Dr Fustinoni would like to work with us in some capacity, but made it clear that he does not want any direct contact with the companies. Unfortunately, he must be at least eighty years old, and he does not speak any English (he told me he would need interpreters at conferences). But because he is clearly a moderate on the ETS issue, and is so well known and respected in Argentina, we should endeavor to send some work his way.
He was one of a few Latin American speakers at a major tobacco industry ETS Symposium mounted in December 1988 at Barilouche, Argentina, with a dozen American and European scientific lobbyists. He became a major tobacco lobbyist, and was involved with CAIR.

4. Dr Antonio H Miguel. (Brazil)
Dr Miguel is a (Assoc.) Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sao Paulo. He is US-educated (University of Illinois and Cal Tech) and speaks excellent English. He is a consultant for the American Chemical Society. He is already familiar with some of the literature on ETS. He has no problem appearing before the media. But he is very busy and does not have much time for us. Dr Miguel concentrates on ambient air pollution . He shares Dr Gros' view that this is where Latin American governments should be focusing their energies.
Dr Miguel is restricted by law from engaging in "unpublishable" research ; that is, he cannot take on a long-term research project on behalf of the companies unless he is allowed to publish his results, favorable or not, in peer-review journals.
The Brazilian law forced him to be ethical -- and this was clearly seen by the lawyers as a major factor against him being hired. However he overcame his ethical scruples and began working for the tobacco industry writing articles for scientific journals. He also became the money channel for payments made to some of the others. Miguel had worked for BAT (Souza Cruz) as an Analytical Chemists before 1991.[9]

In 1994 he was on a year's secondment to the Peck Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, Environmental Engineering Science in Pasadena.
5 & 6. Drs Francisco Radler de Aquino Neto & Jari Cardoso Nobrega (both Brazil)
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.
Both of these Analytical Chemists had worked for BAT (Souza Cruz) before, and Aquino Neto went on to work for tobacco for many years.[10] Both are listed on the 1994 list

7. Dr Celio Paula Motta (Brazil)
Dr Motta is an epidemiologist and public health specialist. He is a member of the Society for Epidemiologic Research. He has read some of the literature on ETS. His English is good. He is not afraid of the press. I am not sure if Dr Motta has an academic affiliation.

Since good epidemiologists in Brazil are hard to come by, we should give Dr Motta a try.
They gave him a try, and he gave them many years of devoted service.
8. Dr Hector Croxatto (Chile)
Dr Croxatto is a Professor of Medicine at the Catholic University of Chile. A recipient of the national science prize, Dr Croxatto is well known in Chile. He speaks English very well. Dr Croxatto attended both McGill and Bariloche (conferences). He told me that he thought the findings in the McGill book were "controversial ." He has unsuccessfully attempted to get studies in indoor air quality issues off the ground at Catholic University. Dr Croxatto is very impressive. But he is eighty-five years old, and very busy. He can offer us only sporadic help, such as occasional literature review and commentary.
9 & 10. Drs Lionel Gil AND Remigio O Lopez Solis (Chile)
Drs Gil and Lopez are professors at the University of Chile Medical School (Santiago) (Unidad de Biologia Celular y Molecular, Dept. Biologia). Dr Gil is a toxicologist; Dr Lopez is a biochemist. I met with them together, at their request. Both are foreign-educated and speak good English (Dr Gil has a Cornell PhD; Dr Lopez taught and studied at Glasgow) . Their research deals mainly with the health effects of Santiago's ambient air pollution, but they are interested in indoor air. According to the local BAT company, both will be serious contenders for the national science prize. They gave me a tour of the University of Chile's research facilities, which by Latin American standards appeared quite impressive. Although they are willing to review literature for us and complete other short-term projects, they are primarily interested in conducting more complicated, long-term research.
They got their wish and both worked on papers and attended many tobacco conferences. Gil was actually a chemist/Pharmacist and had worked for BAT before.

11. Dr Sergio de Tezanos-Pinto. (Chile)
Dr Tezanos-Pinto is a physician and Professor of Medicine at the University of Valparaiso . He is highly recommended by the local BAT company. He is handsome, sophisticated, and already knowledgeable on the subject of ETS . He does not speak English well, but claims to have a reading proficiency. Unfortunately, Dr Tezanos-Pinto has already been branded a "tobacco puppet" by the anti-tobacco lobby. He was crucified by the media a few years ago for stating publicly that the science on ETS/lung cancer is weak. [11] For this reason, he is not too crazy about making new TV appearances. But he would like to work with us, in some capacity.
He undoubtedly continued to work with them, but not as part of this program

Sergio de Tezanos Pinto was not on the later 1992 list, but a research papers with his name on a Study of Pathology in the Tobacco Worker dates back to May 1965. His brother, Jorge Horacio De Tezanos Pinto was not on any of these consultant lists but he turns up in an advertisement in Tobacco Reporter newsletter in April 1991 as the Tobacco Manager of the Tobacco Cooperative in Jujuy, Argentina. [12]
12. Dr Maria del Rosario Alfaro (Costa Rica)
Dr Alfaro Is a Professor of Chemistry at the National University of Costa Rica. (Laboratorio de Contaminantes, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, Heredia, She is currently conducting research into the effects of ambient air pollution on street vendors in San Jose. She has given press conferences on air pollution issues. She has a good presence, and her English is relatively good. She is clearly the best of the Costa Rican candidates whom I met.
She went on to work for the tobacco industry.
13. Dr Bruno Burger (Venezuela)
Dr Burger is a Harvard-educated cardiologist who speaks excellent English. He teaches and conducts research at a prestigious teaching hospital in Caracas. (Centro Medico Docente La Trinidad, Departamento de Cardiologia) According to the local companies, he is very well known in Venezuela, both as a cardiologist and as a TV announcer for automobile races. Dr Burger is also handsome and articulate. In many ways he seems the perfect candidate. It may be, however, that he has already been identified as a friend of the tobacco industry. He knows many of the people at the local companies, and the automobile races at which he announces are sponsored by the companies.
Even being associated with the tobacco-sponsored racing industry was enough to give them pause. After all, these 'experts' were expected to maintain that they were 'independent' and deny any financial links with the tobacco industry. Bruno Berger went on to serve the tobacco industry
14. Dr Eduardo A Souchon (Venezuela)
Dr Souchon is a US-educated oncologist who speaks English well. He is an ex-smoker. His father and brother are tobacco farmers. In his opinion, the smoking habit has been unfairly singled out for regulation. He believes that other variables, such as dietary factors, are at least as important as smoking as far as cancer risk is concerned. Dr Souchon is a friend of Dr Burger and, like Dr Burger, knows many of the people at the local companies. He is not as flashy and charismatic as Dr Burger, but is clearly a strong candidate.
He wrote articles about air contamination in hospitals for them. Souchon and Burger both listed the same address in Miami, Florida in 1994.


Patrick Davies then writes:
I would also keep the following "alternates" in mind in case any of the candidates listed above do not work out or it is decided that additional consultants are needed:

15. Ricardo Katz (Chile)
Mr Katz operates an environmental consulting firm specializing in risk assessment. He employs scientists, engineers, and physicians . He is also highly recommended by the local BAT company. Mr Katz considers ETS to be an environmental pollutant; the only issue, he says, is the extent of the health risk. Because our budget is limited, I would recommend starting with the Chilean candidates with university affiliations. But we should certainly keep Mr Katz in mind.
Katz was a civil engineer, and technical director of Environmental Decontamination Committee of Santiago. He had worked for BAT before.

16. Guillermo Guesse (Chile)
Mr Guesse is an architect and urban planner with an interest in the healthy buildings issue. He is a good friend of Dr Croxatto. He told me that Dr Croxatto agreed with the McGill conclusions, and that what was good enough for Dr Croxatto was good enough for him. (His name was also spelled 'Geisse' in some documents. He was President of Planning and Environmental Investigation Center in Santiago. [13]) Like Mr Katz, Mr Guesse runs a consulting firm; the difference is that his is connected with the government in some way, so I am not sure if the same confidentiality rules would apply. For example, he asked me "what would happen if [we] didn't like [his] conclusions." I told him that, if we elected to work with him, we would have to take the risk.

Nevertheless, he is highly recommended by the local BAT company (they suggested that we organize a healthy buildings symposium in Santiago presided over by Mr Guesse and Gray Robertson). We should keep him in mind.
Or, to put it another way, if he worked with tobacco, Guesse would know NOT to make findings that were disagreeable to his masters, and if he was willing to work with a shonk like Gray Robertson (or HBI) he would certainly know who was pulling the strings and making the payments.
17. Dr Alonso Armijos Luna (Ecuador)
Dr Luna, a cardiologist, is the Dean of the National University of Loja Medical School. He appeared to be objective on the ETS issue. Unfortunately, Dr Luna does not have a particularly good presence and, according to the local PMI company, is not well known. [14]
He was enrolled in the program on the urging of Philip Morris, below, who wanted a consultant in Ecuador, even if he wasn't very good. They knew him from previous closed conferences they had held in Bariloche, Argentina and also at McGill University, Canada.


The document goes on to list a number of scientists who had been interviewed but rejected on various grounds: (1) they are non-smokers or anti-smoking (2) they believe that ETS was a health hazard (3) they were not really scientist with the right expertise (4) those looking only for research funding, and (5) some who were too old.

18. Dr Cesar L Gonzalez Camargo (Guatemala)
He later floated a completely useless (except for propaganda) $86,000 research proposal with Maria del Rosario Alfaro :

The objective of this study is to acquire data on a variety of airborne substances in restaurants and offices in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. The levels of such substances will be compared with measurements taken outdoors, with published measures of outdoor air when available, and with existing data on indoor air quality from Europe and North America .

The research will result in a series of reports specific to each country, which will be submitted for publication in an international scientific journal. All data, apart from the Guatemalan pilot study, will be coordinated and analyzed at the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica using standard statistical analysis. The results will be reported in a complete technical report, which will be submitted to Universidad Nacional officials. The report will be provided to the study sponsors at the same time.

Based on this report, one or more scientific articles will be written summarizing the findings. Such article(s) will be submitted to peer-review scientific journals. The information also will be presented at conferences and seminars.[15]

19. Also the consulting firm AmbioConsult (Venuzuela)
Elba Contreras, Biologa, Central University of Venzuela, appears to be the name associated here.

>> {I don't speak Spanish, would someone check this please + the Bermudez entry below.} [16]

Later AmbioConsult was represented by Alvaro Atilano and Anibal Alarcon [17]


Christopher J Proctor, another speaker, was a legal executive with British-American Tobacco who transferred about this time to work with Covington & Burling) out of their New York office.

NOTE: A LATER symposium in Quito during October 1993 has extra names:

20. Jean Raad Anton (Ecuador)
He was a later consultant recruited by C&B in 1992-93 [18]. He was obviously intended add to the number required in Ecuador, but he is suspiciously bereft of suitable qualifications. He is listed with Unidad de Terapia Intensiva (IESS) in Quito and he is advised that he will participate in a collective publication which will be produced by CIESPAL. This is a way for the new experts from Central and Latin America to get themselves on the record as 'experts' in the field of ETS and IAQ. [19] Anton was credited as Editor of this propaganda publication which was designed to exonerate tobacco smoke. It naturally used the authors from the Latin American ETS Consultants group, [20]


It contains one speaker name not on earlier lists.

21. Juan Carlos Bermudez (Spain)
He was a doctor from the University of Madrid. He is associated with airline cabin pollution and with Gray Robertson's company Healthy Buildings International (HBI-IBERIA). An August 1995 document shows that he worked for Gray Robertson. [21]

Another list in 1994 has another name and no details.

22. Dr Luis Siqueria (Brazil)


1991 Sep 30-Oct 1: A three-day meeting of the Latin American recruits was held in Rio de Janeiro. This was essentially their first training session, where most of the new recruits were introduced to the problems and propaganda of ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke), and IAQ (Indoor Air Quality). This was purely a personal bonding and training session, and a way for tobacco industry staff and executives to meet the recruits.

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,   Eduardo Gros,   Lionel Gil,   Osvaldo Fustinoni,   Bruno Burger,   Zinnia Cordero,   Eduardo Souchon.

Following the Rio de Janeiro meeting, the consultants were mailed the following ETS materials : the McGill book ; the Armitage book ("Other People's Tobacco Smoke") ; the Bariloche book ; the Oak Ridge ETS monograph ; the international ETS "white paper" ; the Hong Kong IAQ study ; the Will/Reasor extrapolation article ; the Lee article on ETS risk assessment; and the Layard/LeVois submission to the United States Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) on the epidemiology of ETS, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. The consultants were given copies of other OSHA filings by United States tobacco industry consultants at the conclusion of the Miami meeting .[22]

1992 Feb 24-26: Another three-day 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. [23]

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   Jean Raad Anton.. One report says:

Before and after the group meeting, Chris Proctor and Patrick Davies met with several of the consultants individually to iron out details relating to possible IAQ field studies and other matters.

Note Eduardo Gros did not attend. Cesar L Gonzarlez Camargo was included under the name "Cesar Gonzalez" and Jean Raad (Anton) now appears

John Rupp concluded the group meeting first by offering the consultants access to the Georgetown IAQ database (IAPAG/CEHHT)-- which they accepted readily -- and then by opening the floor for suggestions for future projects. There were 8 projects and two field studies. (See document or individual sites)

  • The consultants attending the Athens IAQ conference have been told that they will be reimbursed for their expenses but will not be paid for time spent at the conference. With regard to the other projects described above (including the proposed press articles on the Athens conference), we have sent letters to the consultants asking for formal proposals.
  • Paul Williams has completed a Spanish translation of the McGill book (McGill University ETS Symposium proceedings). Paul Dietrich has given us an estimate for publishing 5000 copies of the book -- $7 .00 to $8 .00 a copy plus a one-time $3000.00 to $4000.00 design charge -- and has promised us a written quote within a week.
  • Dr Remigio Lopez (Chile) expects to complete a Spanish translation of the Armitage book ("Other People's Tobacco Smoke") by mid-April. As you will recall, Dr . Lopez is to receive $4,500.00 for completing the translation.
  • Dr Alvarez has offered to publish an article on ETS and cardiovascular disease in Acta Cardiologica, a journal that is distributed without charge to all cardiologists in Argentina. Dr. Alvarez believes that he can complete the article for $5000.00 . It would be ideal to discuss a draft of this article with Dr Alvarez during the Athens conference,
  • Drs Gil and Lopez have expressed an interest in participating in the development of a regional article, written by an appropriate free-lance journalist for the popular press, on ambient and indoor air contamination in Latin America. [24]

1995 Aug 10 Gray Robertson of Healthy Buildings International has written to Mary Pottorff, one of the top-level disinformation executives at Philip Morris International, Corporate Affairs, to ask her to expedite payment for Juan Carlos Bermudez. Clearly he works for HBI in Iberia. [25]

1998 May 8: Prof. Jari Cardoso is still working for Philip Morris, and being run by Bruce Davies in the USA, and with PM executives Souza Cruz and Lucio Mocsanyi in Brazil. He is ultimate under the control of the company's chief disinformation executives Matt Winokur and Mary Pottorff in New York. [26] Jari Cardoso and Francisco Radler are still working together. Cardoso had been given the task of drumming up a scare campaign against "Sick Building Syndrome" by using the Health Buildings International (HBI)/Gray Robertson theme of a threatened epidemic caused by bacteria in the air-conditioning system. This, they said, was the cause of personal discomfort and potential health problems in smoke-filled offices -- not smoking itself. This type of scare campaign results in offices increasing the rates of indoor-outdoor air exchange, and it was obviously used successfully previously after some Minister died (probably from Legionella) [27]