William Raymond Morgan

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

William Raymond Morgan, Ph.D. was an Analytical Research Chemist for Philip Morris. He worked for PM for over 20 years and has served as an Anti-Tobacco Witness. Dr. Morgan said he was ordered by a Philip Morris official in the 1980s to destroy findings indicating much higher-than-expected levels of a suspected carcinogen in the company's Virginia Slims cigarette brand. He says he shreddeed data from the study under instructions from his section leader. He was fired.


Dr. William "Ray" Morgan worked for Philip Morris Research Center in Richmond, Virginia in 1975.[Butler 021648905-13, (P.O.)] In a deposition taken on February 20, 1997, for the State of Texas vs. American Tobacco Company, et al., Dr. William "Ray" Morgan, a former research chemist for Philip Morris Companies, said he was ordered by a company official in the 1980s to destroy findings indicating much-higher-than-expected levels of a suspected carcinogen in the company's Virginia Slims cigarette brand. Dr. Morgan said he shredded the data under instructions from his section leader, who he said he was acting under orders from the then head of Philip Morris' Biological Research Division, Cathy Ellis. Dr. Morgan testified that from 1984 until 1992, when he was fired, he worked in Philip Morris' Research Division in Richmond analyzing levels of nitrosamines (suspected carcinogens) in cigarette smoke. In one project during the mid-1980s, he testified that he tried to replicate test results from Philip Morris' research facility in Switzerland that found increased levels of nitrosamines in second-hand cigarette smoke that had been aged in a calibrated chamber. Rather than the decrease in levels in nitrosamines that researchers expected, the offshore test showed increased levels. When Mr. Morgan replicated the test with Virginia Slims, he found levels of nitrosamines ten times higher than other cigarettes, including Marlboros. He said the levels were "much higher than we had found in any other cigarette we had ever run." Mr. Morgan testified that he took the results to his Section Leader, Ms. Kinser, who took them to Ms. Ellis in a separate office. Ms. Kinser "came back to me and told me that I had to destroy all the data," Mr. Morgan testified. Mr. Morgan testified that he was fired in July 1992 when the company's nitrosamine research in Richmond was cancelled and transferred to Switzerland.(WSJ 2/21/97) [1]

Dr. Morgan no longer works for Philip Morris, but he was heavily involved with the Nitrosamine Project between 1984 and 1992. While not exactly a "company man," Morgan will probably be unwilling to "trash" the company. Apparently he still has family ties with Philip Morris. Morgan was fired in 1992 when the nitrosamine project was cancelled and apparently has been drawing some type of retirement benefits since then. He suffers from severe anxiety attacks and has not worked since he left PMI.(Alexandra Wagner, Ness, Motley letter to Grant Kaiser, 1/10/97)

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