Lionel Gil

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

Dr Lionel Gil was one of a pair of laboratory biochemists 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 called "ETS Consultants" but they were actually enlisted as lobbyists -- they had no consulting role with the tobacco companies whatsoever. The report on this pair reveals this propaganda emphasis:

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

Documents & Timeline

A few dozen of these "ETS Consultants were recruited in the 1991-1995 period. The details are in the Latin American ETS (Doc Index) entry.

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 .[3]

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. [4]

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. Lionel Gil has a project:

    Dr Lionel Gil (Chile) has proposed preparing an article for publication in an international journal based on his very solid presentation in Miami comparing exposures to polyaromatic hydrocarbons from ambient and indoor air sources to similar exposures from dietary sources .
  • 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. [5]