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.
William TM Dunsmuir
Some key documents
1993 Jul 27: WTM Dunsmuir — Prof of Statistics, Uni of NSW 
1994 April 7: Donna Staunton at Tobacco Institute of Australia (TIA) is reporting to the executives of the cigarette companies about the proceedings the TIA has bought against the Australian National Health & Medical Resarch Council (NH&MRC). The TIA's legal action has forced them to "re-frame their terms of reference" in examing the health consequences of passive smoking.
Because of the particular emphasis which will apparently be given to cardiovascular disease by NH&MRC the TIA has requested that Dr Julie Campbell of the University of Queensland independently review the latest paper on this issue by Glantz and Parmley and separately submit a report to NH&MRC setting out her evaluation of the papers cited by those authors. Dr Campbell will submit her report to NH&MRC by 11 April, 1994
She is also setting up an "Independent Working Party" (later called the 'IWG' — Independent Working Group) to counter the NH&MRC's anti-smoking investigations. She has asked Dr Julian Lee (ex-head of the Australian Medical Association's NSW branch) to do this on the quiet, and they know the bias of every name on the proposed list of IWG members.
The issue of indoor air quality has also been the subject of a separate submission — having been made by Healthy Buildings International in August 1993.
Other submissions that have already been sent to NH&MRC include submissions by:
Philip Witorsch, Maurice E LeVois, W Gary Flamm, Jim J Tozzi, Gio Batta Gori, Healthy Buildings International, Richard Mulcahy, Julian Lee, Richard Tweedie and Kerry Mengerson, and Professor Eccleston.
[Warning: Don't assume every member of the IWG was a tobacco lackey, however — just the majority! However all participants would clearly expect to be well compensated for their efforts. Staunton estimates that the cost of this Independent Working Party would be in the order of $200,000, which averages to about six-months of each academic's salary.
We propose to invite a number of eminently qualified experts to conduct a review of all the "evidence" concerning exposure to ETS and its alleged health effects. This Independent Working Party will mirror the workings of the NH&MRC's Joint Working Party which is charged with reviewing its 1986 Report.
[Some of those on the list above were probably chosen simply to provide credibility to the IWG. However many of the others were statisticians [not epidemiologists] — who weren't really relevant— and more than half of those proposed were in the long-term pay of the tobacco industry before this time.
The Joint Working Party is due to present its report to NH&MRC in November. We would propose that the Independent Working Party ['IWG'] submit its report to both the Joint Working Party and NH&MRC in October.
The Independent Working Party has a number of benefits including :
- a de facto extension of time for placing submissions to NH&MRC;
- placing pressure on NH&MRC's Joint Working Party to come up with a "balanced" view, and
- it will place considerable pressure on NH&MRC if the review of the Independent Working Party and Joint Working Pane are substantially different .
Glenn Eggleton [Her old boss at Clayton Utz] has approached Dr Julian Lee on an informal basis. Dr Lee has agreed to help set up the Independent Working Party.
I suggest the following experts be considered for inclusion in the Independent Working Party. Their area of "expertise" is also listed.
- Asthma — Professor Anne Woolcock, Ms Jennifer Peat and Dr David McKenzie
- Lung cancer — Professor William Dunsmuir, Professor Richard Tweedie, Professor Kerry Mengerson, Dr Julian Lee, and Professor Geoffrey Eagleson.
- Cardiovascular Disease — Professor Mervin Merrilees, Dr Julie Campbell, Mr Norman Stenhouse and Dr Neil Cumpston.
- Cancers other than lung cancer — Professor Richard Tweedie
- Difference between mainstream smoke, side stream smoke and ETS — Dr Julian Lee
- Adult respiratory effects — Dr Julian Lee and Dr David McKenzie
- SIDS — Ms Jennifer Peat, Dr Malcolm Faddy, Professor John Eccleston and Dr Peter Cooke.
To control the output of a committee you only need to control 51%. But in this case, they clearly had a margin of error built in .... ]
If the suggestion that we set up an Independent Working Party is accepted, we must then recognise that we would have no control over the content of their final report. However, as Glenn Eggleton has pointed out, all of the experts that I suggest be included in the Independent Working Party are known to us, as are their views. [ie. don't let ham-fisted corporate executives and PR flacks try to exert obvious pressure ... as they usually do...!]
It is most important to ensure that not only each of the member companies understands that the Independent Working Party must have a free reign to examine each of the areas within its brief, but also make it quite clear to the public that this is the case.
She then suggests that they advertise the IWG positions to make it appear to be an open, honest and unbiased selection process.
To facilitate this, a letter of appointment should be carefully drafted to ensure that the terms of appointment of each of the members of the Independent Working Party are set out. [See example of Julian Lee]
However Staunton is so sure of the outcome, that she is already planning how to gain maximum PR advantage out of the IWG's report.
It may be that we should place an advertisement in the press outlining the "terms of reference" of the Independent Working Party as well as the terms of appointment of its members.
The publication of the Independent Working Party's report will be an important scientific document of world-class standard... [it]... should also be submitted to the relevant scientific journals and published in book form for dissemination.
[John Luik was a corrupt scientific commentator in the USA. Staunton was planning to bring him to Australia for a scientific media tour where he could be replied on to condemn the NH&MRC's report.
I would also propose that we arrange media exposure for the members of the Independent Working Party and TIA.
Consideration should also be given to [using the tactics of] ...
- John Luik (his commentary on the report of the Independent Working Party and the NH&MRC's Joint Working Party.
- [pre-publication of any] bias/predisposition of NH&MRC Joint Working Party members.
Note also her use of pre-emptive smear tactics against NH&MRC members ... accusing her opponents of the scientifically-corrupt behaviour she was actively engaged in herself. This was an old and well-practiced technique of the tobacco industry.]
[See attached Annedure with brief biogs]
1994 June 7: Donna Staunton letter to Dr Julian Lee, who was the ex-head of the NSW branch of the Australian Medical Association, contracting him to help combat the National Health & Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) Health Care Committee Working Party, which was examining "whether a link exists between passive smoking and disease in adults and children." Their report was due November 1994.
She writes this carefully-worded formal contract with a lawyer's practiced recognition that her letter may be later exposed to the media ....
In these circumstances, the Tobacco Institute proposes that you assemble a group of scientists which would undertake a full and fair review of all of the scientific evidence relevant to the Terms of Reference and prepare a report based thereupon. For convenience, we will refer to this group as the Independent Working Group ("IWG").
[This is, of course, an outright lie since the proposed membership of the IWG, and their biographies has already been communicated to the cigarette companies.]
The composition of the IWG would be entirely a matter for you to determine, although we would like to see the group limited to residents of Australia and New Zealand. The only requirement that we would seek to impose would be that the members of the IWG be thoroughly qualified scientists of unimpeachable integrity.
The Tobacco Institute shall have no editorial rights with respect to the report. To this end, we do not wish to see drafts of the report prepared by the IWG or have any input whatsoever into the preparation of the report. Irrespective of the views and conclusions reached by the IWG, the Tobacco Institute will submit the report to the Council of the NH&MRC for its consideration at the same time as the Working Party is due to submit its draft report to the Council.
The Tobacco Institute's solicitors have an extensive collection of scientific materials relating to environmental tobacco smoke. The Tobacco Institute would instruct its solicitors, Clayton Utz, to make available to you andlor any member of the IWG such materials that might be required.
1994 July 22: Staunton writes to the cigarette company executives explaining that the Independent Working Group is operational, but unfortunately Dr Stehbens from Wellington, New Zealand, is unable to participate. The active group consisting of:
...will hold their first meeting in Sydney on 30 July 1994
- William Dunsmuir
- John Eccleston
- Julian Lee
- David McKenzie
- Mervin Merrilees
- Jennifer Peat
- Craig Mellis
- Kerry Mengersen
I would like to suggest to Julian Lee, convenor of the Independent Working Group, that he raise with the Independent Working Group whether or not they are happy for the TIA to inform the NH&MRC's Council of the formation of this Independent Working Group. I would propose that we send to the NH&MRC's Council a copy of the Terms of Appointment of the Independent Working Group.
I note that we have yet to receive the one third share of $200,000.00 (being the monies agreed in relation to the costs for the Independent Working Party) from Rothmans or Wills.
1994 Dec 6: Donna Staunton is advising her cigarette companies of the imminent release of the Independent Working Group's report in Australia. She has already checked the document [despite claims that it will not be shown to the industry prior to release] and has:
- organised for 150 copies to be printed
- organised, through Dr David McKenzie, for the University of Sydney to print a further 350 copies (after they have amended the reference list)
- organised for Dr Julian Lee to issue a press release under his own name (not the Tobacco Institute)
- arranged an interview for Lee with [popular talk-show host] Peter Thompson on the ABC's Radio National network for the following day.
- created an 'activity plan' for the day of the release
- Organised the taping of a Video News Release (VNR) with Dr Lee for distribution to TV stations (outside Sydney).
The layout of the report has obviously been deliberately kept rough. She has also couriered copies to the executives, and comments:
When you receive the report would you please remember that it is an interim publication only and it has been published in the size and form it has, so that it looks like the scientific document that it is. It ia not a glossy tobacco industry publication.