Michael J. Rand

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

Professor Michael J Rand was the head of the Department of Pharmacology at Melbourne University in Australia. He was enlisted by the local tobacco company (mainly Andrew Whist) to head the Australian Tobacco Research Foundation in June 1970. He had already begun to work for the industry before that time, providing cover for the industry's importation of Swedish scientists Rune Cederlof and Lars Friberg who were given a speaking tour of Australia to promote their 'twin study' which purported to show that a twin who smoked had no more mortality risk than a genetically identical one who didn't. This was a gross distortion of their inconsequential findings. See [[1]]


1969 Aug 19: Letter from Philip Morris Australia's Andrew Whist to the inhouse legal executive Alex Holtzman in New York. They have persuaded Professor Mike Rand to issue an invitation to Rune Cederlof and Lars Friberg so that the Swedish scientists would not need to admit that they were being trotted around the world to meet the media on tobacco money. [[2]]

1970 July 15: CW Bridge-Maxwell, an ex-politician now employed by British American Tobacco) has written to William Kloepfer at the US Tobacco Institute, to inform him of the establishment of the Australian Tobacco Research Foundation (The previous month) and ask for some publications. The Foundation consisted of four representatives and four scientists:

  • Mr. H. Widdup of W.D. & H.O. Wills (Australia) Limited
  • Mr. R. Watson of Rothmans of Pall Mall (Australia) Limited
  • Mr. J.R. Fawke of Philip Morris Limited
  • Mr. B. Cocks of Rothmans of Pall Mall (Australia) Limited

In addition there are four scientific members:

  • Professor C.R.B. Blackburn, Department of Medicine,. Sydney University.
  • Professor A.E. Doyle, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne.
  • Professor M.J. Rand, Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne.
  • Professor W.J. Simmonds, Department of Physiology, University of Western Australia.

"The latter four also form the Scientific Advisory Committee. Professor Blackburn is chairman of the Foundation and the Scientific Advisory Committee."

The other officers of the Foundation are Dr. W. Zylstra, Medical Secretary; Dr. B. Fordyce, Scientific Secretary and [CW Bridge-Maxwell] as Administrative Secretary.

The Foundation has announced it will make available $1 million, over the next five years, for research into "the relationship in Australia between tobacco smoking and disease in its widest context." [[3]]

1975 June 1-5: The Third BAT Smoking & Health conference: [REPORT]

"Is there sufficient research on the association of smoking with diseases?

This was raised by Mr McCarty, and Dr Hughes added that the aim was to develop work to break the causality link.

It was said that T.R.C. (Tobacco Research Council of UK) did not do much defensive research and that it was difficult to find any U.K. medical researchers prepared to undertake such work or even to work on the susceptible minority concept.

This did not appear to be the case in the U.S.A. and Australia. It was pointed out that for very many people smoking had positive benefits and that these should be demonstrated. Mr. Widdup recalled that such a review had been promised following the first conference in Montreal and Professor Rand had agreed to undertake it, but subsequently backed out." [[4]]

1976 Jan: Tom Osdene of Philip Morris was in London and meeting with BAT scientific staff. PM are proposing a joint conference in January 1977 in Mexico City or San Paulo, on the psycho-pharmacological effects of smoking.

"The purpose of the meeting was to inform BAT that Philip Morris are planning a second conference on the psycho-pharmacological effects of smoking, similar to that held on Martens, French-Netherlands Antilles in 1972. A draft proposal is attached."

The proposal suggests that a selected group of scientists convene to consider the question: "Does cigarette smoking influence aggressive behavior in man"
[This is an obscure and esoteric thesis in which Philip Morris would normally have had no interest -- nor would any of those involved have seriously asked the question. This was to be little more than a junket for favoured scientist -- used to generate some media publicity.]

The conferees were to be drawn from pharmacology, psychiatry, psychology and the social sciences. Professor Michael Rand is listed here as:

" MJ Rand, PhD, Dept of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne (Behavioral effects of smoking)"

Philip Morris used these conference/junkets to build a family of favoured scientists: he is listed here among 18 others as a potential participant The proposal and the selection of some of the participants leaves little room to doubt as to the real purpose of this "scientific conference".

"A great inducement to the prospective conferee is the prospect of travel to a distant meeting place with inherent physical and cultural attraction, such as, for midwinter, Mexico City, or Sao Paulo or some similar southerly location where adequate conference and recreational facilities can be had. An alternative arrangement would be to hold the conference in July 1979 aboard a cruise ship steaming among the fjords of Norway."

The estimated cost was $56,000 -- and they wanted to split it with British American Tobacco. BAT's chief scientist, SJ Green, has scrawled on the letter "I don't think BAT should share in this jamboree..." [[5]]

1986 July: Professor Franz Adlkofer is visiting Professor MJ Rand at the University of Melbourne. They are planning an International Symposium on Nicotine to be held in Brisbane from 4-6 Sep 1987.

Professor Julia M Polak and her collegue Professor SR Bloom have been asked to conduct a survey through the UK's Hammersmith Hospital. Polak is to be a visiting professor in Melbourne at some date in the future.
[She has written this for the files and has bccd Dr Ray Thornton of BAT's Issues Management division, suggesting a meeting to discuss some results. This note would not have been on the Rand/Adlkofer copies.] [[6]]

1986 Dec 28: BAT's UK Collection of Telexes has this document [Page 20 of 219]
Barry Smith [from AMATIL in Sydney] to Dr RE Thornton [BAT Issues Manager in UK]

"Thanks for Sharon Boyse's letter of Dec 11. Re suggestion on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. I could suggest this to Mike Rand if you can advise on a suitable and willing speaker." [[7]]

1987 Nov 25: Philip Francis (PR of Philip Morris Australia) is organising a nicotine conference in Australia. Mary Pottorff in the New York office advises Tom Osdene who looks after scientific consultants.

Attached is the latest information from Phil Francis on the Nicotine Symposium to be held in Australia next year. He sent a list of possible speakers to Don Hoel [lawyer at Shook Hardy & Bacon] for comments, which Don provided. The attached list has changed appreciable and again Phil asks for comments. Don thought you might have some comments and possibly additional suggestions for speakers -- Abood perhaps.

NOTE: Dr Leo Abood was one of their main nicotine experts who was often called upon to provide witness services saying that nicotine wasn't addictive.][[8]]
[This referral to lawyers was a screening process to ensure that while both sides of the addiction question were present at the conference, the industry side would predominate. ]

1987 Sep 4-6: International Symposium on Nicotine held in Brisbane by Franz Adlkofer's FRG [ German Research Council on Smoking & Health] and Mike Rand's Australian Tobacco Research Foundation.

1988: IRL Press book: "The pharmacology of nicotine" Edited by Michael J Rand and Klaus Thurau.

"These are the proceedings of the International Symposium on the Pharmacology of Nicotine, (which is said to be ...)a satellite meeting of the Tenth International Congress of Pharmacology, held in Queensland, Australia, on September 4-6, 1987.

The symposium was an initiative of the Forschungsrat Rauchen und Gesundheit (German Research Council on Smoking and Health) and the Australian Tobacco Research Foundation. It brought together recognized world experts in the field and aimed to provide broad coverage of all aspects of the pharmacology of nicotine, including toxicology and ethnopharmacology.

The more general, and polemical, issues of the claimed health effects of tobacco smoking were not specifically addressed although they did arise in certain presentations." [[9]]

2002 May 9: Michael Rand died.

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