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.
Ragnar (Affaire) Rylander
• Part 1: Early years working with Tore Dalhamn at the Karolinska Institute on the inhalation of smoke (done for Lorillard)
• Part 2: At the University of Gothenburg and the University of Geneva, working for Philip Morris and its European research organisation INBIFO (Cologne)
• Part 3:(This part) The extraordinary Affiare Rylander, where he won a libel action against two Swiss activists over their claims that he had hidden his association with Philip Morris. He lost the final appeal.
The Rylander affair in Geneva, Switzerland was initiated by economist Pascal A Diethelm and medical doctor Jean-Charles Rielle making public statements about Rylander and the University of Geneva's involvement with Philip Morris.
Rylander attempted to silence his critics via a defamation action. He won initially, but they won the appeal. See the Swiss/French newspapers.
Posing as "a victim of a lobby of militant anti-tabaks."
2001 Mar: /E Material
- U.S. Exhibit 85704 also states that Professor Rylander's fees from Philip Morris increased from approximately $2,500 in 1972 to $85,000 in 1997,
- U.S. Exhibits 24681 and 24682 are two 1999 examples of the billing arrangements between Philip Morris and Rylander,
- U.S. Exhibit 88032. This is a June 26, 2001 letter from Rylander to the editor of the European Journal of Public Health defending his "full disclosure" of ties to Philip Morris.
2001 Mar: Pasca A Diethelm and associate hold a press conference which publicly revealed Rylander's connections to the tobacco industry and produced the evidence of a vast 'deception plot by the tobacco industry' which they labelled "scientific fraud without precedent." Rylander responed with a legal charge of defamation.
2001 May 8:
Dear Mr Diethelm!
I have been asked by our vice-chancellor, professor Samuelsson, to answer your mail message to him of May 5.
Professor Rylander retired from Gšteborg university last year. His filing of a charge of libel, therefore, has been done entirely as a private person. He is entitled, though, to use the title of professor emeritus at our university, as he held a position as professor for 27 years, until the year 2000. The university has not been informed, and even less given consent, to professor Rylander«s legal actions against your organization.
Gšran Bondjers - Professor, Dean - Medical faculty - Gšteborg University
2001 Jun 26: letter from Rylander to the editor of the European Journal of Public Health defending his "full disclosure" of ties to Philip Morris. Rylander denies that he ever had a "formal" contractual relationship with Philip Morris or received compensation beyond "travel and per diem,"
2002: In the last issue of Dagens Forskning, Ragnar Rylander wrote:
My collaboration with Philip Morris was begun in 1972 and included the subsidizing of well-defined research projects which I have drawn up myself, plus being a scientific advisor to INBIFO, an inhalation-toxicological laboratory in Cologne. [also owned by Philip Morris]
Within the scope of this collaboration I have never signed any consultancy contract, which has given me the freedom I wanted, for instance, not to get mixed up in the product or policy issues of the tobacco industry.
This is also evident from the documents quoted in the article — I received grants for the research, regardless of its direction. The collaboration has not been a secret — it is evident from various documents that it was well known and published already since 1974.
2002 Dec: The University of Geneva issued a press release:
On the basis of the facts, it has now become clear that Prof. Rylander has concealed his sources of financing, notably to the ethics commission that was in charge of reviewing research protocols and to the editor-in-chief of a reputable journal in public health.
The university also set up an investigation commission to review the scientific validity of Rylander 's work in the field of tobacco and health, with a view of removing his studies from the medical and scientific record, "should the result of the investigation confirm the lack of integrity of his research."
For these reasons, the University of Geneva publicly distances itself from Prof. Rylander's attitude. Furthermore, the University mandates the Commission of Integrity of the Faculty of Medicine and requests it to review the incriminated works of Prof. Rylander.
Finally, the University praised Pascal Diethelm and Jean-Charles Rielle for having made public their suspicions, and for having emphasized the importance that the "Rylander affair" has for public health. [The University authorities had previously supported Rylander against his critics]
2003 Dec 17: Swiss court of appeals made a number of findings adverse to Dr. Rylander's claim of defamation in a decision. The Court of Appeals stated:
"Ragnar Rylander revealed only a small portion of the truth - that the 1974 and 1983 symposiums were sponsored by the tobacco industry - and concealed the rest, in particular his role at the INBIFO research laboratory, his ongoing ties with Philip Morris's lawyers and the fact that his articles were regularly submitted to Philip Morris prior to publication.
In such circumstances, the reason for secrecy put into place and maintained by Ragnar Rylander and Philip Morris on the subject of their " commercial" relations is easily explained.
The investigations have shown that even as late as 1999, the editors of a scientific publication such as the European Journal of Public Health were still unaware of the ties between Ragnar Rylander and the tobacco industry and believed his statements denying their existence.
[The CIAR approved three Rylander studies funded totally by Philip Morris]
2004 Oct 29: The Univerity of Geneva's "Fact-Finding Commission" issued a statement on the "Affaire Rylander".
"The scientific community and the public must be made aware that Ragnar Rylander's research on the effects of environmental tobacco smoke and health are serious suspect because the author did not revealed his conflicts of interest. There is a potential tobacco industry influence over these studies because he cannot be considered as independent, considering his role as secret employee of the tobacco industry.
The Fact-Finding Commission proposes that the following journals be notified of this determination: -
- European Journal of Public Health
- Archives of Environmental Health
- International Journal of Epidemiology
"Prof. Rylander's many breaches of scientific integrity protocols is even more significant when examined within the framework of tobacco industry strategy to throw doubt on the toxicity of tobacco smoke, particularly for non-smokers.
The case against this one individual must not make us forget that the most unforgivable blame lise with that institutional and commercial entity, the tobacco industry, whose objectives and interests are contrary to both public health and medical science.
The deluge of publically-available tobacco industry documents resulting from American legal judgments pronounced against this industry show that these companies have attempted to manipulate public opinion for decades, and that the targeted recruitment of a large number of scientists has been a central instrument of this disinformation campaign.
The tobacco industry cannot now be considered as a credible partner for independent scientific research, and the Commission proposes that it shall be forbidden for the members of the University to solicit funding for their research activities or seek consultancies, either directly or indirectly, from the tobacco industry. This measure aims at protecting the integrity of the University's scientists."
See original French version http://www.unige.ch/rectorat/pdf/Rapport_Rylander.pdf
See University press release http://www.unige.ch/presse/communique/?04-05/1029R (etc.)
2004 Nov 11: Lancet article The whole truth and nothing but the truth? The research that Philip Morris did not want you to see. by Paul A Diethelm, J Rielle, and M McKee.
Philip Morris, acquired a research facility, INBIFO, in Germany and created a complex mechanism seeking to ensure that the work done in the facility could not be linked to Philip Morris. In particular it involved the appointment of a Swedish professor as a Ôco-ordinator', who would synthesise reports for onward transmission to the USA. Various arrangements were made to conceal this process, not only from the wider public, but also from many within Philip Morris, although it was known to some senior executives.
Although INBIFO was 100% owned by Philip Morris after the transaction, it appears that the company was reluctant to be connected too closely with it, arranging its acquisition through a Swiss subsidiary so that "In this way our involvement would not be unduly exposed".13 As a consequence, in a confidential document from 1972, a complex system of communication between the two was established.
This involved the appointment of a coordinator, Ragnar Rylander, to act as an interface. Rylander's main employment has been at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden [Later University of Geneva also], for most of the time that he acted in this capacity. He was to be "officially... carried on the books as a consultant to FTR [Fabriques de tabac rŽunies, a Philip Morris subsidiary] and would be paid by FTR.
INBIFO undertook different kinds of important research for Philip Morris.
- It has been to described as the leading centre for inhalation studies in the world. [banned by the Gentleman's Agreement in the USA]
- Flavor and ingredient testing where it was important that the results remained confidential.
- Pretesting specific research proposals to ensure that when they are repeated by true "independent' scientists (given tobacco industry grants), they will produce no adverse findings.
- It was also used as a European repository for sensitive US documents that may have been open to legal discovery in a US lawsuit.
(Published online November 11, 2004, http://image.thelancet.com/extras/03art7306web.pdf
2004: Dec/E [Private correspondence with researcher in Europe]
As for myself I will now dive down in the Rylander case again. A few days ago the new verdict from the Tribunal FŽdŽral in Geneva came (only a short message was published April 17th, the full text came two days ago). The case is annulled, so Diethelm and Rielle are freed from all charges.
See (in French) and
Diethelm's translation into English.
BTW, it seems Rylander might be involved also in the study that was
published two weeks ago in BMJ about passive smoke, the Enstrom-Kabat
2006 May: Amer J of Industrial Medicine http://www.prevention.ch/amjinmed2006.pdf
Prior to working for the tobacco industry he conducted numerous studies into occupational health and safety issues in Scandinavia:
• 1958 Organic chemistry article: Published in Journal of Physical Chemistry with S Meyerson.
• 1963 Tore Dalhamn and Rylander propose to study the way in which "ciliastatic compounds" in mainstream tobacco smoke are 'scrubbed [by] acqueous fluids in the oral cavity and trachea.'
• 1967 Vergleichende morphologische Untersuchungen zur Haufigkeit des Lungenemphysems Gough, J ., Rylander, RC, Otto, H, and Heller, G,
Frankfurter Zeitschrift fur Pathologie,
• 1968 Mouth Associatives of Various Components in Cigarette Smoke" with T Balmapy and ML Edfors, published in Archives of Environmental Health. [This was filed under Tore Dalhamn's name in RJ Reynolds files
• 1968 Retention of cigarette smokers components in human lungs article on smoke constitutents was published in Archives of Environmental Health by Tore Dalhamn, ML Edfors, and Ragnar Rylander.