Linda C. Koo

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

Dr. Linda Koo, (aka Linda Koo Chih-ling) is an epidemiologist and professor at the University of Hong Kong. She was seen by the tobacco industry as their most important recruit in Asia. The tobacco archive documents, show that she was recruited as a WhiteCoats for the tobacco industry in 1989 as part of a project to find and train scientists into a team who would support the cigarette companies with dubious statements in court cases and at anti-smoking ordinance hearings. See Asian WhiteCoats

These were a special type of paid scientist who were shy of being exposed as corporate lobbyists. At this time Linda Koo was a Professor at the University of Hong Kong, and a close friend of Sarah Liao who owned a company EHS Consultancy and who was integrated into the Hong Kong political class. This gave her a status which made her the most attractive compliant scientist in Asia, and therefore a most useful secret lobbyist for tobacco interests.

Professor Koo was especially shy of possible public exposure, so the normal money laundering techniques weren't adequate for her. She insisted on all payments being made through Sarah Liao (who acted as the Asian WhiteCoats administrator). Later she became less shy and became openly involved with known tobacco scientist Ragnar Rylander in Sweden.

Most WhiteCoats were clustered into pseudo-scientific associations: (ARIA, EGIL, IAPAG), which both enhanced the individual lobbyist's scientific credibility in the field of his/her expertise (usually IAQ or ETS -- air quality, or health effects of passive smoking), and also provided money laundering services. The Asian WhiteCoats had their own organisations, ARTIST and APAIAQ (aka APA) which was designed to hide any tobacco-company payments from court-room discovery. This allowed the scientists to maintain that they were 'independent' and had no direction from the tobacco industry. See Asian WhiteCoats.


Tobacco Industry Scientist. She conducted a study between June 1980 and December 1986 entitled 'Life history correlates of environmental tobacco smoke : a study on non-smoking Hong Kong Chinese wives with smoking versus non-smoking husbands. The investigators were: Koo, L.C., Ho, J.H.C. and Rylander, R. Soc Sci Med 26: 751-760, 1988. She also worked on the Asia environmental tobacco smoke Consultants Programme indirectly. Dr Sarah Liao San-tung acted as an "intermediary and buffer" between Dr Koo and the tobacco industry initially. "Koo would invoice Liao for any work she does on [the tobacco industry's] behalf, and Liao would in turn be paid [by the industry]. See Philip Morris2500048643/8654.

Documents & Timeline

1990 Sarah Liao (aka Sarah Liao Sau-tung) and Dr John Bacon-Shone have been commissioned by the CIAR to undertake a $1 million project. [2]

1990 Oct 19 Asian Whitecoats have been invited to a meeting of consultant (a joint training session) in Manilla. The main organiser, George Leslie speaks to them about APAIAQ (Asian Pacific Association for IAQ), IAI (Indoor Air International), and ARIA (Association for Research into Indoor Air), and the history of these organisations.

This is an Asian Whitecoats meeting with the ARIA/IAI coordinators and US lawyers.

See Agenda for this meeting. Note the 'scare' session on Legionella by the Australian microbiologist Helen Garnett. Also note the information sessions by Gordon Leslie on how the WhiteCoats/Consultants organisations ARIA APAIAQ and IAI operate to launder funds for their academic members.[4]

1999 Jan 18 The Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department commissioned a study into the early release of tobacco documents in 1995, but they appear to have done nothing with the information.Then in 1999, the Hong Kong newspapers got hold of the story from Stanton Glanz's book, '"The Cigarette Papers".

This resulted in an inquiry in Hong Kong, with Sarah Liao and Dr John Bacon-Shone denying that they knew the tobacco industry was funding their project. See the articles which expose the project. [5] [6]

1999 Jan 18A China Morning Post story.

Hong Kong's Environmental Protection Department which commissioned the recently released $10 million stuidy is seeking legal advice and conducting checks on the report. The Inquiry was ordered after managing director of EHS Consultants, Sara Liao Sau-tung and Central Policy Unit member John Bacon-Shone were named in Philip Morris cigarette company documents as having been paid consultants to the industry. Linda Koo is also identified as having worked for the industry with Ragnar Rylander

The study had been commissioned in 1995 and it was 'intended to be the corner-stone of future policy and legislation on indoor air"

Also see page 53 article where Bacon-Schone tries to defend himself. But the lawyer John Rupp s(p 57) says that they were fully aware of the tobacco connections. [7] [8]

1999 Mar ASH "Conspiracy: Industry Plants Scientist... from The Cigarette Papers." has a detailed expose of C&B lawyer John Rupp, Linda Koo and Sarah Liao, and how the McGill University ETS Symposium was used by the industry to train and accredit Asian scientific and academic recruits for disinformation support. [9]

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