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CREATED 12/16/2010

WARNING: 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.




TOBACCO INDUSTRY EXPLANATORY

ABBREVIATIONS
JARGON
SPIN-MEISTERS
INITIALS
FIRST & NICKNAMES
Misc.RESEARCH HELP

 

 

OPINION ONLY

Donna Marie Staunton     [ Part 1]    

(aka Donna Staunton-Mayne)

— The most prominent lawyer/lobbyist for the tobacco industry in Australia who went on to become the Director of Communications at the Australian government's most prestigious scientific research establishment. the CSIRO, after decades of declaring that most science was "junk". —  

Donna Staunton has been one of the most active lawyer-lobbyists working on behalf of the tobacco companies in Australia. When the tobacco industry disinformation efforts briefly collapsed in 1999 she moved out and ended up for five years as Director of Communications with the Australian national scientific research organisation, the CSIRO.

Donna Staunton has had many careers.

  • She was a nurse in New Zealand who later studied law.
  • A tobacco industry lawyer-lobbyist in Australia
    • Initially as a Clayton Utz senior legal associate with the national tobacco industry account. She was embroiled in many non-legal activities with the Tobacco Institute of Australia (TIA).
    • Briefly seconded to the TIA as Senior Counsel and Secretary
    • Formally moved over as CEO of the TIA.
    • Joined Philip Morris Australia as head of Corporate Affairs (the main disinformation role in the industry)

  • The AMP Society Foundation — a freshly privatised mutual assurance company.
  • Staunton Consultancy - her own PR company (worked for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Rsearch Organisation at senior management level)
  • Director of Communications at the CSIRO
  • Strategic Consultancy — her own corporate strategic advice company

Some key documents

• The UCSF tobacco archives have 591 references to Staunton in Australia

Donna Staunton was supported at Philip Morris by

  • Elida Jaksic who later worked for Prime Minister Rudd, She is listed as an assistant to Donna Staunton, but she also ran various smoking & health projects, and political activities — such as labelling and ingredients
  • Eric Windholz who was Donna Staunton legal assistant (from 1992) later was relocated to the New York and worked with the Worldwide Regulatory Affairs division in Washington.

1977: Graduated as a Registered general/maternity nurse, Dunedin Public Hospital, New Zealand

1986: Graduated, Batchelor of Arts & Bachelor of Laws, University of NSW

1987–92: Worked as a lawyer/lobbyist for the tobacco industry through her position (as Senior Associate) with Clayton Utz solicitors — the Shook Hardy & Bacon/Covington Burling of Australia.

1990 Jan 18: She is listed at Clayton Utz as Donna Staunton-Mayne but not indexed as such in the tobacco archives. She is listed in this TIA memo list at Clayton Utz along with Glen Eggleton and Richard Travers

    At this time she is working with Richard J Mulcahy who is the CEO of Tobacco Institute of Australia (TIA) The Clayton Utz senior executives involved in litigation (AFCO) are Brian T Wilson, Richard Travers, Glen Eggleton — and Greg Burson looks after the tobacco account in Western Australia (Robinson Cox)

    The TIA is reporting here to the US tobacco companies, Shook Hardy Bacon, and Covington & Burling.

1992: Tony Wood at Rothmans in the UK is organising visiting experts to go to Australia for Donna Staunton at TIA after the bad publicity of the AFCO case

1992 May: Still Staunton-Mayne She is now either seconded to, or employed by, the Tobacco Institute of Australia (TIA) as Legal Counsel [2504075815]

1992 Jul 23: signing herself with double-barrel name

1992 Dec 24: This is the last of the double-barrel "Staunton-Mayne" name signings

1993–95: Her position is now known as General Counsel & Company Secretary see above??). — later she became the Chief Executive Office, of the Tobacco Institute of Australia. Full-time lobbying.

1993: author of TIA defendant statement

1993 June 2: Rothmans International note from Tony Wood who represents Rothmans International Services on the International Public Affairs Council of INFOTAB, to Bruce Stuckey-Clarke at the Tobacco Institute of Australia.(ccd to Donna Staunton). Wood wants to be kept informed of all developments in the West Australian cases, and any political moves.

    Rothmans did not export to Australia. But this illustrates just how integrated the interests of the tobacco companies around the world were — and how they coordinated their activities.

1993 Nov: — Feb 1995: Chief Executive Officer, Tobacco Institute of Australia.

1994: John C Luik from the Niagara Institute in Ontario is listed here alongside many other dubious or outright corrupt scientists who worked extensively for the tobacco industry. He has written a chapter in a tobacco industry funded book:

In Pleasure: the Politics and the Reality, scientists and academics from various disciplines attempt to develop a balanced perspective on pleasurable substances such as tea, coffee, tobacco and alcohol in the face of attacks by 'health activists' on their use.
which was edited by David Warburton, one of the more notorious of the tobacco industry lackeys.

    In an accompanying article Donna Staunton has commissioned an ACIL Economics study that proves Australia's GDP gets a direct benefit of $2.43 billion from its tobacco industry [discounting the 100,000 annual premature deaths.]
The TIA went on to criticize government moves to require tobacco companies to devote nearly half of their packaging to health warnings and related information.

    The Institute argued that Australians are well informed about the alleged risks associated with smoking and further labelling requirements will damage intellectual property and will strip manufacturers of the ability to differentiate products in the market place.

[Yet Donna Staunton made a public declaration that nicotine was not addictive!]


1994 April 7: The case mounted against the NHMRC has been settled out of court.

On 18 March 1994 proceedings brought against NH&MRC by the TIA were settled following receipt of a letter from Dr John Loy, confirming the re-framed terms of Reference.

    Instead of retaining each of the experts we have developed to write submissions to NH&MRC on discreet topics, the TIA proposes to submit a 20-40 page submission to NH&MRC. This submission, which has already been distributed to members of the legal committee, deals with each of the disease states allegedly attributable to exposure to ETS. The submission also refers NH&MRC to scientific papers (hard copies of which will be sent to NH&MRC) supporting all the propositions made in the TIA's submission.

Glenn Eggleton 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.

[Lee at that time also worked for the asbestos industry which was fighting to limit damages paid in worker's compensation cases.]


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 Research 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

    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.
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.

[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.

    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 :
  1. a de facto extension of time for placing submissions to NH&MRC;
  2. placing pressure on NH&MRC's Joint Working Party to come up with a "balanced" view, and
  3. 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.
[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.

    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.


    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.
[ie. don't let ham-fisted corporate executives and PR flacks try to exert obvious pressure ... as they usually do...!]
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]

    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.
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.
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.

    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.
[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.

    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 April 7: Staunton at the TIA is reporting to the tobacco industry 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.

    She is also setting up an "Independent Working Party" (later called 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 it on the quiet, and they know the bias of every name on their list of proposed IWG members.
Don't assume every member was a tobacco lackey, however — just the majority! However all participans 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.

    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.
  1. The Independent Working Party has a number of benefits including :
  2. a de facto extension of time for placing submissions to NH&MRC;
  3. placing pressure on NH&MRC's Joint Working Party to come up with a "balanced" view, and
  4. 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.
[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.

    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.

    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.
[ie. don't let ham-fisted corporate executives and PR flacks try to exert obvious pressure ... as they usually do...!]
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 below] 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.
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.
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. 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 ...
  • John Luik (his commentary on the report of the Independent Working Party and the NH&MRC's Joint Working Party.
  • [Publication of any] bias/predisoposition of NH&MRC Joint Working Party members.
[John Luik was a corrupt scientific commentator. Staunton was planning to bring him to Australia for a scientific media tour.

    Note also her use of pre-emptive smear tactics ... accusing your opponents of the scientifically corrupt behaviour you are actively engaged in yourself. This was an old and well-practiced technique of the tobacco industry.]


    [See attached Annedure with brief biogs]

1994 April 7: Staunton suggests to the Australian companies lobbyist/executives that they should ask John Luik to Australia to run his "political use of science argument." She was simultaneously organising a small group of Australian scientists which were laughingly known as the "Independent Working Group' (IWG) under Dr Julian Lee (costing $200,000), to produce a report which would....

be submitted to the relevant scientific joumats and published in book form for dissemination.

    I propose that a copy of the Independent Working Party's report and a
    copy of NH&MRC's report be given to John Luik who will then be invited to come out to Australia for media./public relations purposes . Should the reports differ considerably, John Luik will be encouraged to run with his 'political use of science" argument (which was clearly enunciated following publication of the EPA's report) .

    Luik was officially invited by the Melbourne right-wing think-tank, the Institute of Public Affairs [Donna Staunton was on the Board] to provide him with cover.

1994 April 15: TIA sues Stephen Woodward, AFCO solicitors, over statement he made on radio after they won the AFCO appeal Dec 1993. She is now listed as
    Donna Marie Staunton, General Counsel and Company Sec for TIA

1994 Dec: The final report of the Independent Working Group (IWG) convened by Dr Julian Lee, It is 140 pages. It claims:

The present report was prepared at the request of the Tobacco Institute of Australia. Its contents represent a rigorous, objective evaluation of the scientific literature on this subject by a group of scientists convened by Dr Julian Lee.

    The financial support necessary to undertake this task has been provided by the Institute. Editorial independence was guaranteed and has been preserved throughout. The conclusions expressed in this document are those of the Working Group acting as an independent body.
They then go on to make many false claims and subtle distortions:
Our opinion has been formed on the basis of professional experience and a critical evaluation of relevant published papers and reviews of this literature. We believe that the literature which we have reviewed comprises the main papers in the areas of interest. This material has been drawn from major databases (including Medline and Cancerlink) and papers referred to in published reviews.
Actually the main papers were provided from the Clayton Utz files of tobacco industry defense documents.

    Even casual reading of the document with its extensive series of tables, etc. shows that the selection of the IWG participants were far from varied. For instance, the bibliography for Jennifer K Peat shows that she works consistently with Anne J Woolcock and Craig M Mellis, When Woolcock dropped out, she was replaced by Mellis.

    The Bibliograph in this report gives new meaning to the term "data mining." They appear to have begun with a full-reproduction of the US Tobacco Institute and Clayton Utz's study index, then added a few dozen of their own citations (each).

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.

1994 Dec 7: The press report of the IWG shows

"that some of the claims that have been made about 'passive smoking' may not be soundly based and justified on the data [after an ] objective evaluation of more than 500 scientific papers. [The evidence] about adverse health effects is weak and inconclusive."
This document shows which scientists in the proposed list agreed to support the IWG and its findings.
Supported:
  • Dr Julian Lee, Thoracic Physician
  • Dr David McKenzie, Professor of Medicine Uni of NSW
  • Dr Mervyn Merrilees, Medicine, Uni of Auckland
  • Dr Peter Cooke, statistician, Uni of NSW
  • Dr William Dunsmuir, statistician, Uni of NSW
  • Dr John Eccleston, statistician, Uni of Queensland
  • Dr Malcolm Faddy, statistican, Uni of Queensland
  • Dr Kerrie Mengersen, statistician, Qld Uni of Tech (Tweedie's girlfriend)
  • Dr Jennifer Peat, statistician, University of Sydney

1994 Dec 8: The Sydney Morning Herald carries the IWG story "Passive smoking: panel queries danger" saying

Dr Lee defended the review yesterday as a "scholarly examination" by people of "impeccable scientific credibility." He said it was not undertaken to further the interest of the tobacco industry

    An expert in respiratory medicine from the University of Sydney, professor Ann Woolcock, said the evidence linking passive smoking to increased respiratory disease was strong. She said smoking could trigger asthmatic attacks..."

1995–99: Vice President, Corporate Affairs of the Philip Morris Group in Australia.

1995 Feb: End of her period as Chief Executive Officer, Tobacco Institute of Australia. [Employment span given as Nov 1993—Feb 1995]

1995 Feb 10: Donna Staunton from TIA has joined Philip Morris Austalia as Director of Corporate Affairs, and later for the Asian Pacific region. David R Davies [An American who previously held that position), moved back to the USA as Counsel to PM International for the European Union (EU) and the Region known as EEMA. [Europe and Middle East, Africal etc]

    She nominally worked under Bill Webb who was head of PM Australia (also a president of PM International Inc), but in fact she takes her orders from PMI Corporate Affairs in New York (Andrew Whist) and from the American lawyers Shook Hardy & Bacon and Covington & Burling.

1996 Dec 20: The Worldwide Strategy and Plan coordinated by Philip Morris WRA. [86 pages] See Australian reference pages:

  • Page 21 Outline of the NH&MRC strategy being run by Donna Staunton,
        The Goal:
    Prevent the recommendations from becoming legislation or regulation, encouraging a public debate against the recommendations so as to render them politically unworkable
  • Page 27 International Agency for Resarch on Cancer (IARC/WHO) study; Goal:
    Mitigate the regulatory and media impact of the study if the results are not consistent with other ETS research and IARC's criteria for conducting epidemiological research.
  • Page 42 Australia — Hospitality:
    • Develop the TIA's version of the Courtesy of Choice program for roll out across Australia:
    • Support hospitality allies including the Restaurants and Caterers Association, Clubs Association and the Australian Hotels Associations:
    • Complete economic impact study of Australian Capital Territory Smoke Free Act.
    • Develop seminars with associations representing local government officials who provide operating licenses on the benefits of proper ventilation and importance of self-regulation.
    • Develop program of seminars for employer and insurance groups on ETS science and law.
  • Page 74 Continue to distribute "Clearing the Air" brochure to assist facility operators identify ventilation solutions to support accommodation. Prepare a Iayman's brochure on the science of ETS for use with allies, employees, media and government officials.

1999 (c): Andrew Whist is about to retire and Donna Staunton (Aged 40-45) is listed to replace him in the new PM International corporate hierarchy [Corporate Affairs based in New York City].

    This puts her possibly next in line after Steve Parrish and David Greenburg in the "Succession Chart" (Bring) for a top job in PM Companies Inc in New York City

Part 2. Donna Staunton (AMP & CSIRO)

2003: The CSIRO joined the Global Foundation, and Staunton became a Board member.

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CONTRIBUTORS:ent2 Jb22 jrtm


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