This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.
Alexis de Tocqueville ETS/EPA report
In early 1994 the Tobacco Institute began negotiation with the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) for them to produce a fake report attacking the Environmental Protection Agency — with special emphasis on the agency's determination that passive smoking ("ETS= Environmental Tobacco Smoke") was both a significant pollutant in the indoor environment, and a substantial health hazard.
Cesar Conda, at this time the co-director of the AdeTI with Jack Kemp (Republican presidential aspirant), suggested using either their own staff member, Kent Jeffreys, to produce a critical report — or to hire in the services of S Fred Singer, who was then the director of the Science and Environmental Policy project (run with his wife Candace Crandall, and Gerhard Stohrer — and part-supported by the Moonies Unification Church as an anti-climate change think-tank.)
A third possibility was the economist Professor Robert Tollison, of the George Mason University, who had been running a nationwide cash-for-comments network on behalf of the Tobacco Instittue — and who therefore had a readily-available stable of academic economists who would be available to form an "Advisory Board" which could be claimed as 'peer reviewers" of the final paper.
They settled on Fred Singer as the lead researcher, and Kent Jeffreys as his support.
Eventually the concept of the project was widened to become less obviously in support of the tobacco industry by focussing on the EPA and its procedures on a number of different fronts — Radon, Pesticides and the infamous Superfund chemical toxic dump cleanup program. The aim was to lable these all a gross waste of time and funds, and by extension, include the ETS risk-assessment of ETS.
The final report, released with the help of two Congressmen, carried the primary credit of Kent Jeffreys, with Fred Singer assigned the title of Scientific Advisor and in one document, only as a 'supporter'. It is not clear why Fred Singer wanted to de-emphasise his role in this scam. He had had close ssociations with the tobacco industry previously (Heidelberg Appeal, and APCO & Associates), so it wasn't the cigarette connection that bothered him.
The total cost of the project was $20,000, which included post-release followup promotions and publicity. The bill was paid in the form of a grant since the AdTI is a non-profit which is not permitted to take commissions of this kind or to engage in political lobbying.
Jack Kemp would have understood these limitations.
Some key documents
• Who's Who and What's What index
• Prior to the ETS project S Fred Singer had done a number of jobs for the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute.
- S. Fred Singer, "The Costs of Environmental Overregulation," op-ed published in Human Events, August 7,1993.
- S. Fred Singer, "Whither Environmental Regulation," research study released on July 1,1993.
The Alexis de Tocqueville (AdTI) Scam.
1994 Feb 20: /E William Orzechowski at the Tobacco Institute proposed to commission the Alexis de Toqueville Institution (AdTI) to run a major project attacking "junk-science". They wanted the AdTI to label the EPA's report on passive smoking (ETS), as rubbish.
Cesar Conda, who ran the AdTI under Co-Chairmen Jack Kemp and Joseph Lieberman (a pathetic attempt to give it a non-partisan political status) proposed the organization of a 'research paper' to critically assess the methodology used by the EPA.
- He was vague on content, but suggested three possible authors:
- S. Fred Singer (of SEPP),
- Kent Jeffreys (ex Director of the CEI's environmental studies program, and now an AdTI 'Adjunct Scholar'),
- 'another reputable economist' perhaps Bob Tollison— (George Mason Uni).
- They would also assemble an Advisory Board of economists and scientists to endorse the report and give it credible publicity. ("Commission on Environmental Science")
- The report would also look at endangered species and pesticide reform to deflect any charges that it was about cigarette smoking.
- Alternatives: Depending on the degree of actual research that the Tobacco Insitute thought necessary, this could be either a well researched report taking several months, or a quick-and-dirty churn-out taking 2-3 weeks.
The cost of the project, either way, would be $20,000 including conttracing, distribution staff time, etc..
1994 Mar 1: Cesar Conda to Bill Orzechowski about the EPA Science Project Action Plan. After their discussion, the 'backgrounder' will include...
... an examination of other instances of bad EPA science.
- A report that examined 3-4 other instances of bad EPA science — in addition to ETS - would have a greater impact. (Superfund hazardous ranking system, biotechnology, electronic magnetic fields or endangered species.)
- In addition to creating an academic advisory panel, I would like to attempt to create a bipartisan Congressional advisory panel that supported the general concept of examining the science behind EPA's regulatory decisions. In the past, AdTI has assembled bipartisan boards to support our research reports; this greatly enhances our credibility with the press and on the Hill (see attached list of bipartisan advisory boards).
Possible members include Sen. Johnston (D-LA), Rep. Mica (R-FL), Rep. Thurman (D-FL), and Rep. Zimmer (R-NJ).
- Timelines: I have entered into preliminary conversations with Mr. Kent Jeffreys (formerly Director of Environmental Studies at CEI) to write the backgrounder. Although I have not discussed this yet with Fred Singer, we might want to arrange for joint authorship of the piece.
As I mentioned to you, Jeffreys will be in London from March 11 to 23rd. If funding for this comes through, there is a possibility that we could get him started on this immediately which would move the completion date up to late March\early April.
- Late ApriI\Early May 1994 - release report to the press and on Capitol Hill.
[They later expanded the concept and hired both Jeffreys and Singer. These exchanges don't exist in the archives].
1994 May 17: Cesar Conda to Bill Orzechwski at the Tobacco Institute.
[At this time Conda was co-director of the AdTI with Jack Kemp: shortly after he became Executive Director]
- FINAL DRAFT. Signed off by [Fred] Singer, [Kent] Jeffreys, and AdTI executives. [We would] Welcome review by your lawyers — but please keep edits to a minimum — major changes will have to be re-approved by the authors and AdTI executives.
- Includes language and stylistic changes you suggested regarding references to health risks from smoking.
- Also beefed up the cost-benefit section with excerpts from Bob Tollison's testimony.
- The authors will try to move the completion date for overall study (including sections on chlorine, Superfund, and Radon) from June 15 to June 6 — but it is going to be very difficult.
Again, I entered into an arrangement for completion dates based an the conversation you and Margaret had during lunch a few weeks ago. It is extremely difficult to keep accelerating these completion dates because Singer/Jeffreys have other committments built around this project's completion date.
- Academic and Science Advisory Board: Do what you can to get Tollison, etc. (also I need some more scientists, epidemiologists, etc.) I approach the following people —
- Michael Darby, Professor of Economics UCLA
- Michael Boskin, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
- Thomas Hopkins, Prof. of Economics, Rochester Inst of Technology
- Kip Viscusi, Duke University
- Richard McKenzie, University of California (Irving)
- Ken Chilton, Center for Study of American Business (CSAB), Washington University
Let's shoot for 10 people — but I think six good names would be sufficient.
[Boskin, Viscusi and Chilton must have turned Conda down. They are all tobacco lobbyists at various times, but their names are not on the final AdTI report. It is not as if being on this advisory board required any time or trouble since it was only put together after the draft report was completed.]
The draft Singer/Jeffrey paper (which became Case Study 1)
1994 June: /E S Fred Singer (now credited as a Senior Fellow, Alexis de Tocqueville Institution) and Kent Jeffreys (Adjunct Scholar) have sent the draft copy of their report to the tobacco industry.
[This copy is from RJ Reynolds Tobacco files.]
It is titled "The EPA and the Science of Environmental Tobacco Smoke" and is totally focussed on the regulation of second-hand smoke.
[This eventually becomes just one case-study in the final report. Note that Singer is credited here as the primary author, and Jeffreys as its secondary author.
The report quotes extensively from Robert Tollison and Michael Fumento]
1994 July: The authors must have focussed during July on the Radon, pesticides and Superfund-clean up case studies.
There are no documents during this month.
1994 Aug 2: Congressmen Pete Garen and John Mica have set up a Congressional briefing on the AdTI report on the morning of the 11th
[Note that the report has still not been completed].
They are inviting other Congressmen to attend a conference to hear Fred Singer and Kent Jeffreys attack the EPA.
Unfortunately, there have been many cases in recent years where sound science and economics have been sacrificed by the EPA in order to support preconceived public policies and political decisions.
[This Dear Colleague letter was sent to the Tobacco Institute the same day, possibly for legal clearance.]
1994 Aug 11: The Alexis de Tocqueville Institute has produced the final report, credited to Kent Jeffreys, and with S Fred Singer of SEPP [via Philip Morris's own PR-firm APCO], listed as only Science Advisor. Singer worked both for the tobacco industry, and other industries (chemicals, asbestos, etc) in a small climate-concerned coalition which also produced the "Heidelberg Appeal".
This final report was a well-funded, and well-camoflagued attack on the activist concerns about Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). However it hid behind the potential problems raised by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over radon, pesticides and the Superfund toxic chemicals in the environment. It says:
" Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination" is an evaluation of the data, statistical analyses, and underlying scientific theories that underlie the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) policy decisions on environmental tobacco smoke, radon, pesticides and hazardous clean-up under the Superfund law.
[Of course, no one mentioned that John Graham and his Harvard Center for Risk Analysis were also tobacco industry-funded lobbyists.]
With the total costs of environmental regulations estimated to be $150 billion annually — or $1,500 per U.S. household — it is extremely important that environmental decisions be based on sound scientific analyses of potential risks to public health and the environment, and that the costs of environmental regulation be weighed against the benefits. [Note the lack of conculsions that it was even more important for American industry to clean up its act and stop polluting!]
But as Dr John Graham of the Harvard Center on Risk Analysis notes, "While it may seem obvious that EPA should use good science, students of the Agency have documented that the Agency's leadership, when preoccupied with public fears and legal pressures, has sometimes allowed good science to be neglected."
The original draft report "The EPA and the Science of Encironmental Tobacco Smoke" by S Fred Singer and Kent Jeffreys, had now been expanded. The draft report (with only a few minor edits) became Case Study 1, in a much more extensive study of EPA activities, in an attempt to hide the fact that its funding and direction came from the tobacco industry.
The aim of this report was to group together a number of different environmental threats (which most Republicans had been convinced were fallacious); create a giant strawman/scarecrow; then classify them jointly as examples of the EPA's doomsaying threats to health. This, they held, was evidence of the radical agenda of the EPA and other anti-smoking, anti-polluting zealots.
The report was put together by S Fred Singer and Kent Jeffreys with the help of 8 Alexis de Tocqueville staff, and supposedly under the ['post hoc'] guidance of a 19 person Advisory Panel which was put together after the fact:
- Gerhard Stohrer, Singer's partner in SEPP (the main Moonie contact)
- cash-for-comments network economists: Robert Tollison, Richard Wagner, Dwight Lee, Gary Anderson, Mark Thornton, Robert Ekelund, Jeffrey Clark, and Richard Vedder from the Tobacco Institute stable.
- Three other economic professors, Michael Darby (UCLA), Thomas Hopkins (Rochester Inst of Tech), Michael Marlow (Cal State Poly Uni-San Luis)
- Nancy Bord and Thomas Gale Moore from the Hoover Institution
- Environmentalist consultant/lecturers Gordon Brady (Sweet Briar College) William Hazeltine
- tobacco industry consultants and well-known lobbyists Michael Gough. who now worked through Cato and TASSC.
[Cesar Conda, Fred Singer and Kent Jeffreys continued to exploit the report during 1994. This overview on the Alexis de Tocqueville successes during the year had numerous mentions of them planting the information on journalists, politicians, etc.]
This report market a turning-point in the tobacco industry's fight-back operations. Philip Morris had just successfully established The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC).
Steve Milloy at TASSC had the job of labelling any anti-tobacco study results as 'junk-science. APCO secretly ran TASSC, and they broadend the reach of this new 'junk-science' operation to create mutual-help relationships with other major poisoning and polluting industries. These eventually joined forces in using TASSC to attack the idea of ozone depletion, DDT-bans, and fossil-fuel problems with carbon-dioxide and climate change.
TASSC became one of the tobacco industry's contributions to the 'anti-science/denial' movement which was designed to counter both anti-smoking crusades and climate change research.
1994 Nov 2: A long Robert Kasten article in the Washington Times: The burdens of hyper-environmentalism.
[Editors note: Third of a series from the The National Policy Forum. The Forum conducted 64 public forums across the country and involved more than 177,000 Americans in its "Listening to America" project. ]
He goes on to quote Cesar Conda (Alexis de Tocqueville) and others.
We've gotten a lot for the $2 triltion America has spent on protecting the environment. Initially, envtronmental regulation like the original Clean Air and Water Acts did prove to be cost-effective. Our air and water have become much cleaner over the past 25 years. But as environmental scientist S. Fred Singer has pointed out, removing the last few percent of environmental pollutants is enormously expensive and often not even within the reach of technology.
According to a new poll of 508 scientists conducted by The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition, [TASSC] 83 percent agree that government policymakers should use sound science in achieving environment policy goals.
[Presumably the other 17% want governments to use un-sound science...! You figure! I wonder what percentage thought that water should be potable, or air breathable? ]
A Harvard University [read Harvard Risk Assessment Center] poll last year found that over 80 percent of the American public supports the use of scientific risk-analysis to focus scarce resources on the most important environmental risk.
[No! Surely not! You'd expect them to want governments to focus their funding on the least risk, wouldn't you? ]
[Kasten is credited as co-chairman of the National Policy Forum council on the Environment.
What is so astounding is the sheer banality of this PR push-polling crap produced by TASSC and the John D Graham's Harvard Center. And even more amazing is that it was then reported with all seriousness by the Washington Times. Even allowing for their bottom-of-the-harbour ethical standards, you'd think even the Moonies had more commonsense than this. ]
1994 Aug 12: "Report on Recent ETS and IAQ developments" which was circulated regularly to executives in the tobacco industry showed that Conda was helping the Tobacco Institute with its propaganda before the report was finished.
On July 22, 1994, Representative Dick Zimmer (R-NJ.) introduced a document into the Congressional Record that criticizes the way that the "EPA selectively uses risk assessments to dictate environmental policy to the public instead of to inform them of their choices."
Specifically cited in the document is the EPA Risk Assessment on ETS. Zimmer's remarks and the document in question, an article by Cesar Conda of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, were directed at the legislation introduced by Zimmer in September 1993, the "Environmental Risk Reduction Act of 1993" (H.R. 3111; S. 110), which would establish guidelines to ensure consistency and technical quality in risk assessments.
With regard to the ETS risk assessment, the Conda article states,
"the EPA's recent finding that 'environmental tobacco smoke' - or second-hand smoke - is dangerous to human health is based on a threshold or risk assessment two times lower than what the agency normally uses for other substances. All too often, politics get in the way of sound science." Zimmer, in his remarks, credited the Institution with playing "a major role in educating members, the press and the general public about the need to rationalize environmental policy and reduce excessive regulatory costs." See 140 Congressional Record E 3 547 (July 22, 1994).
Meanwhile, the Institution reportedly scheduled briefing on its new report, "Science, Economics and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination," on August 11, 1994. The report apparently focuses on ETS, radon, pesticides and the Superfund cleanup.
Speakers at the briefing were to include Representative Peter Geren (D-Tex.) and several scholars. See Reuters Daybook, August 5, 1994.
[This quote came from the law firm of Shook Hardy & Bacon who would have known everything there was to know about the deal with Conda and the Institute. They kept the secret industry financial accounts that would have been used to launder the payments.]
1994 Aug 11: Sam Chilcote of the Tobacco Institute advised his Executive Committee that Reps Peter Geren (D-TX) and John Mica (R-FL) had held a press conference that morning announcing the release of the study.
He was able to circulate a detailed report of the Congressional meeting the same day.
1994 Aug 12: Sam Chilcote at the Tobacco Institute circulates information about the success of the Alexis de Tocqueville report. They now claim that the Advisory Board has provided some sort of 'peer review' of the 'study'.
Dr Singer explained that the study was peer reviewed by a number of scientists and economists so that real risks and costs benefits to society could be sufficiently evaluated.
He said that a good portion of the nation's gross national product is "tied up" in environmental controls and stressed the importance of spending those dollars wisely by distinguishing real risks from "phantom problems."
Jeffreys pointed to the recent media attention on Clinton Administration officials lying to, or withholding information, from Congress.
1994 Aug 12: The release of the paper was reported by BNA (Bureau of National Affairs) in its Daily Environmental Report. In this report Kent Jeffreys is credite as being "an adjunct schlar at the Institute formerly with the Competeitive Enterprises Institute", while Fred Singer is virtually brushed aside as
"professor emeritus at the university of Virginia and backer of the de Tocqueville report".
On the same day in Congress, Rep Jim Saxon of New Jersey reads into the Congressional Record a long speech on the EPA given by Merrick Carey, President of the Alexis de Tocqueville institute. This also attacks the EPA and environmental regulations.
[Neither, of course, gives any hint that the tobacco industry was paying for these attacks on the EPA in order to discredit their characterisation of passive smoking as harmful to health.]
How they mined the report to promote the tobacco industry views.
[At the same time they were fighting the ban on CFCs, claiming that the ozone hole was a fiction.]
The AdTI [later] reported later in the year on their successes in promoting the ETS project.
- AdTI submits comments to the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation on the Agency's report on risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis for environmental tobacco smoke, August 11, 1994.
- Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ) enters Merrick Carey's speech "Risk A and Risk B" in the Congressional Record, August 12, 1994
- AdTI releases "An Assessment of Risk Assessment," an interview with Dr John Graham, founding director of the Harvard Center on Risk Analysis, August 12, 1994.
- S. Fred Singer and Cesar V. Conda participate in a risk conference planning session, August 18, 1994
- AdTI's "Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination" featured in Chemical Week article "EPA Risk Assessment Called Flawed," August 24, 1994.
- AdTI featured in "Conservative Think Tanks Plan Major Attack on EPA Zero Risk Policies," Risk Policy Report, August 26, 1994.
- S. Fred Singer delivers presentation on the politics of global change to the Environmental Policy Council in Seattle, Washington, September 1, 1994.
- AdTI's "Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination" study is reviewed in "The EPA Gets Caught," The Richmond Times Dispatch, September 2, 1994
- S. Fred Singer, "The Population Debate: Science, Guesswork, or Ideology?" The San Diego Union-Tribune, September 4, 1994.
- Reps. John L. Mica (R-FL) and Pete Geren (D-TX) distribute AdTI's "Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination," via "Dear Colleague" [Letter] on September 12, 1994.
- Kent Jeffreys is the featured guest on the National Empowerment Television show "Business Voice" to discuss AdTI Risk Assessment study, September 13, 1994.
- Kent Jeffreys, "When EPA Exaggerates Risks," The Journal of Commerce, September 15, 1994
- AdTI's risk assessment research is featured in The Wall Street Journal's lead editorial "Risky Business," September 15, 1994.
- AdTI's "Science, Economics and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination," cited in Inside EPA's Risk Policy Report, September 16, 1994
- S. Fred Singer, "Wasted Dollars on Hype," Earth Times, September 26, 1994.
- Senator Lauch Faircloth (R-NC) enters Kent Jeffreys' article, "When EPA Exaggerates Risk," in the Congressional Record, October 6, 1994.
The requirements to promote the Singer/Jeffreys study through the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute for a couple of months, must have been part of the original deal, because the Institute didn't get paid until December.
1994 Dec 9: Walter Woodson of the Tobacco Institute writes to Cesar Condor, who is now Executive Director, enclusing a check for a $20,000 grant
They are a non-profit 501(c)3 organisation so educational activities are OK, but political lobbying is not.
Dear Mr Conda,
On behalf of The Tobacco Institute I am pleased to enclose a check in the amount of $20,000 in support of your research and educational projects.
The research and information your group performs is enlightening and useful. I look forward to seeing more of your work, especially in the areas of government over-regulation and unnecessary federal government programs