Raymond E Thornton

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

Dr Ray Thornton is Manager of Smoking Issues for the British-American Tobacco (BAT) holding company known as BATCo. He handed over this role to Sharon Boyse and moved more into the corporate R&D functions where he was responsible for advising an the scientific aspects of smoking and health. He was a Chemist by training, holding a doctorate from Oxford University for research into the drug Cortisone.

He joined BAT in November 1962, initially to carry out research on tobacco combustion. this was followed by a wide variety of positions within the Research Department In the 1986 period he also represents BAT on the UK Tobacco Advisory Council, in discussions with the independent scientific committee, and had close links with other Millbank departments any many companies of the BAT Industries Group. [[2]]

Documents & Timeline

1990 June 6 Following a London UK meeting James T Newsom has written to the primary Shook Hardy & Bacon (SH&B) Tobacco Team in Kansas, covering many issues. THIS IS A LONG DOCUMENT WELL WORTH READING. HOWEVER NOTE THE PAGES ARE OCCSIONALLY OUT OF ORDER. (Order rearranged and grouped to simplify) [3]
Don Hoel, Bob Northrip, Steve Parrish and himself met in London to discuss a number of issues to do with tobacco.

  • Things had changed: Chuck Wall and Steve Parrish, were no longer with the SH&B tobacco team. Steve Parrish had been seconded b SH&B ito PM in Switzerland as "Coordinator of International product liability litigation for Philip Morris." Both Chuck and Steve have announced that they will be joining Philip Morris. They see a problem since most of the work of the London office is on tobacco for Philip Morris. Chuck Wall with Judy Hancock had been given the job of looking after International tobacco affairs. Now only Judy.
  • Don Hoel was returning to Kansas City in late June or early August and James Newsom was taking over. Don Hoel intended to take a six month sabbatical beginning Oct 1990 "During that six month period we will not have any lawyer in Kansas City who has had any experience handling international matters."
  • Anthony J Andrade would remain another year in London, but then they will need someone to take over.
  • Marty Warren (woman) is designated the "international associate" in Kansas City,
  • Donald Hoel's hourly rate for tobacco work is $225, and they are planning to push it up to $275 or $285

The Philip Morris Projects in Europe involve:

  • Witness development -- a euphemism for recruiting WhiteCoats (scientist who work for them in secret)
Steve would have a role at PM looking after ETS issues worldwide
Chuck would look after worldwide litigation for PM Tobacco, Millers Beer, and Kraft General Foods (all owned by PM)
Therefore Steve Parrish will now look after WhiteCoats recruitment in-house. The original intention was that Tony Andrade would devote 75% of his time to this recruitment in Europe, and that Don Hoel would devote only 25% if his time to this project. In fact Andrade had devoted time to Australia, and only 50% of his time to European WhiteCoats recruitment.
  • There is some overlap with the recruitment of non-medical witnesses with work done by Allen R Purvis and Gene Peck (both SH&B).
  • Tony(Andrade) estimated that they had ...

    evaluated perhaps 200 potential witnesses and have determined that approximately 90 of them are worth visiting and have visited approximately 40. Of these 30 are worth continuing to see. (The rest will be checked later.)
    The general success rate in finding witnesses willing to consult with the tobacco industry has been higher than witness development efforts in the US. We told Steve that we could continue to see witnesses at approximately the same level during the forthcoming year if Tony devoted approximately 75% of his time to witness development. Of course, we will not see as many new witnesses because we will be revising witnesses previously seen.

    They then told him that some witness contacts had come through US witnesses with whom we have worked such as Drs Domingo M Aviado, Edward M Skolnik and Professor Julius Gould, and a UK Consultant named Dr David Wescott (Imperial Tobacco/CORESTA) and other existing contacts. They are consulting with Peter W Brown and Michael Wilson of Rothmans and Ray Thornton and Sharon Boyse of BAT.
  • In the past, Covington & Burling have done ETS witness development in the US principally under the direction of the Tobacco Institute... "although they are lawyers, they are being used as corporate affairs consultants."
    In Europe, Scandinavia and the UK C&B's activities are mainly for Philip Morris at the direction of PMI Corporate Affairs department
  • They also discussed SH&B joint ETS witness development efforts in the US for Philip Morris, Lorillard, and Brown & Williamson (both ETS and 'Primaries Issues witnesses). Newsom and Don Hoel would meet with the Swiss TR/PM group of Helmut Gaisch, Helmut Reif and Iancou Marcovich to discuss research projects ; and a meeting will also be set up with Alex Holtzman
  • The Copenhagen Conference was being set up by Dr Tage Voss and Helmut Gaisch to counter Richard Peto's statements at the Perth, Australia World Conference on Tobacco and Health. Tobacco would be supported by Drs Tage Voss, Peter Atteslander, Bertoldt Schneider, Petr Skrabanek and Hans J Eysenck. Theodor D Sterling would also be invited together with some members of the Nordic smokers rights organisations (ie Hen-Ry) They were coordinating this with John Dollisson (Philip Morris corporate affairs) and the conference would send a letter to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • They also discussed the problem of Pesticides; the Aho case in Finland (being handled by Edwin Jacob of Jacob Meninger& Finnegan (uncooperative); Ingredients; the promotion of Moderation of smoking; Mild/Light cigarettes; and lawyer's meetings in UK, Netherlands, Switzerland
  • Australian AFCO v Tobacco Institute of Australia case (They may also have another case in Perth) (Don Hoel charged at $390 per hour which they thought too low.) This was on-going and a potential source of trouble. "

    Despite the difficulties in Australia, we feel that Gary L Huber continues to be useful. He will take his statements in Australia, refine them slight and they will be published by the Uni of Texas press.

  • With INFOTAB- they attended Board and Global Issues Working Party (GIWP) meetings [4]
    BAT has now withdrawn from INFOTAB, but they don't know whether B&W would also.
  • Guinness: Don Hoel has opened discussions with Guinness to do some alcohol-related witness development work in Europe, New Zealand and Australia ... "a natural fit with tobacco work".
  • Four other projects: They had feelers out for work in Philippines, Japan, Argentina, Canada, Hong Kong. Latin America (Francisco Moreno -4 projects)
  • Theodor Sterling was possibly going to New Zealand as a witness.
* Elia Sterling (TDS Ltd Canada), Iancou Marcovitch {PM Switzerland) and Claude Bieva (toxicologist, Free Uni of Brussels & lobbyist) are discussing a conference on air quality, sponsored by an European equivalent of ASHRAE in Brussels in 1991. They will also discuss a Madrid conference with Elia Sterling et al. Sterling (TDS Ltd) also doing work in Brazil with local consultants, and possibly Venezuela and/or Guetamala.

Steve Parrish's possible changes.