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TOBACCO INDUSTRY EXPLANATORY

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Alan K Armitage     [ AKA AA ]

— A Harrogate laboratory scientist who worked for the tobacco industry both openly, and surrepticiously —


1976 Jan: Tom Osdene of Philip Morris is in London and meeting with BAT scientific staff. PM are proposing a joint conference in January 1977 in Mexico City or San Paulo on 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"
[An obscure esoteric thesis that Philip Morris would have had no interest in — nor would any of those involved have seriously asked the question.This was to be little more than a junket for favoured scientist] The conferees were to be drawn from pharmacology, psychiatry, psychology and the social sciences. He is listed here as:
AK Armitage, PhD Scientific Director; Hazelton Laboratories, Europe, Ltd. (Neurophysiological effects of nicotine)"
Philip Morris used these conference/junkets to build a family of favoured scientists: she 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 BAT]

The BAT scientist, SJ Green, has scrawled on the letter "I don't think BAT should share in this jamboree..."

1988 Aug: Ray Thornton lists him as "ex Hazelton Laboratories, Harrogate"

1988 Aug 23: Ray Thornton, (Scientific Affairs at BAT) is circulating to BAT executives a summary of "details on the Philip Morris Programme on ETS — compiled from various sources" They are being asked to join forces with PM and RJR in running this Pan-European ETS program.

    The document provides a good summary of the early organisation of PM's Whitecoats project. It reveals that the project is:

  1. Divided geographically into two parts. Helmut Gaisch of FTR and John Rupp of Covington & Burling had responsibility for Europe and the Middle East. Don Hoel of Shook Hardy & Bacon was to provide coverage for the "rest of the world" [Which, at this stage, was mainly USA, Canada, Australia, Latin America].
  2. PM's budget for the European/Middle Eastern activities in 1988 was 2.3 million. This involved " the recruitement of teams of scientists under the cryptic name ARIA " by Francis JC Roe and George B Leslie. The team also included Frank Lanau, Peter Lee, John Faccini, Alan Armitage, Leonard Levy , and Petr Skrabenek . Drs Jeffrey R Idle and Susan Wonnacott [who both worked for BAT/TAC] were approached to join, but declined.
  3. The first formal conference of the ARIA team was at "The Bell" (a hotel with conference rooms), Aston Clinton, Aylesbury [30 miles NW of London] on Sep 12th-13th 1988
  4. Thornton also lists the ARIA group's involvement in the "Perry Conference" [aka "Imperial College London ETS Conference"]
He also lists the EGIL group in Scandinavia, some Whitecoats in France, Belgium, Austria and Italy.
ACTIVITIES:
  • Members of Teams are asked to comment on Smoking Issues paper and then to write comments [and] articles as appropriate. and to be generally proactive on the issues.
  • Establishment of a Centre for Environmental Toxicology in the US (Sorrel Schwartz and Nancy Balter the leading figures)
  • Collaboration with RJ Reynolds
  • Plans for two conferences: one in Argentina, the other in Central America.

    Thornton is scathing about the British scientists and science recruiters involved. He blames John Rupp for problems "because of his brash behaviour, exacerbated by minor problems such as the role of dr Francis Roe, but particularly his minor acolytes, Dr George Leslie and Dr Frank Lunar, who would not be seen in the first rank of scientists qualified to comment on ETS. (Nor would Dr AK Armitage who made his name as a Pharmacologist in the 1960's/1970's a Harrogate, working for the UK TRC as it was then." [Now TAC]

    There is also the synopsis of a proposed book (AK Armitage, ed.) by many of these Whitecoats (plus a few probably unsuspecting genuine scientists) trying to raise other scare-substances like asbestos to the same level as smoking.


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