Philip RJ Burch

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This stub is a work-in-progress by the journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to


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

Philip Burch was a professor at University of Leeds in the UK, who worked for the tobacco industry right throughout the 1980s. He was a close associate of the American Carl C Seltzer, from the Peabody Museum in Harvard University. Philip Burch and his wife Jane mixed socially with Carl Seltzer and his wife Ruth. Some of Burch's payments from the US tobacco industry were channeled through Seltzer.

Documents & TimeLine

1985 Feb Handnotes of a lawyer from Philip Morris attending the CTR Ad Hoc lawyers meeting.

  • Repace --(we should) have A Colicci review
Anthony Colicci was a contract scientist/disinformation expert working for RJ Reynolds.
James Repace was the activist and anti-smoking scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He estimated that there were 3,000 deaths per year from passive smoking, and the tobacco industry worked hard to discredit him and his associate Lowery.
  • Sorrel Schwartz paper. Went over it with John Rupp.-- Finalize with Schwartz
    Will go to General Council of EPA ... Rupp, Schwartz, Chilcote
[Rupp was the lawyer John Rupp from Covington & Burling, Sam Chilcote ran the Tobacco Institute. Sorrell Schwartz was a corrupt professor of pharmacology at Georgetown University, and a life-long tobacco scientist. He ran the IAPAG operation also]

- draft to be ditched

  • Burch is still working on his paper -- coordinated by Carl Seltzer
[Carl Seltzer is obviously supervising and coordinating his friend Philip Burch in England in writing an article attacking the Repace claims.]
  • Sterling mde a proposal on Repace -- too broad ?.
Theodor Sterling was proposing a way to attack the conclusions of Repace, but they thought the attack was 'too broad' to succeed. [2]

1985 Apr 10 Bill Kloepfer advises Sam Chilcote at the Tobacco Institute about the availability of witnesses at an upcoming Tax Hearing in Congress:

7. Don Hoel and Bernie O'Neill are seeking an early meeting to determine whether Theodor Sterling will testify. They also will seek statements for the record from Carl Seltzer and, through Carl, from P.J.R. Burch. These statements and testimony will deal with the morbidity/mortality data.

In all cases, Institute consultants will assist in the preparation of statements and testimony. [3]

1986 Apr 14 Philip Burch and Carl Seltzer come under attack by Australian scientists in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Lilienfeld complained in his summary that Burch "incompletely presented the findings of several studies or has omittted discussing others more fully."

John Pierce of the School of Public Health, University of Sydney says: I feel some-what exasperated by the way that Burch goes about his attempts to exonerate smoking from having anything to do with disease".

He also quotes Kristein who accuses Burch of a "series of sophisticated abuses of scholarship" which include "misusing and and distorting references", "ignoring logic and evidence", "concentrating on minor points", "using straw men arguments" and "insisting that anything short of absolute statistical perfection is valueless."

[An excellent summary of the tactics employed]


1986 Dec 22 Carl Seltzer now sees his value as acting as a channel between the British tobacco lackeys and the New York offices of Philip Morris. He sends them cuttings (probably from Burch) of articles carried in the UK newspapers.

In this letter to Alexander Holtzman (Philip Morris legal executive) Seltzer attacks Professor Nicholas Wald's "case for a significant association between the risk of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the smoking state of people with whom they lived, generally the spouse." Wald's claim about the danger of passive smoking has come under attack by Burge (Birmingham Heartlands Hospital), Robertson (ACVA/HBI) and also by Philip Burch and Peter N Lee. Seltzer attaches a letter he has written in support of Burch and Lee to the British Medical Journal.

[This attachment was not in files] [5]