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CREATED 11/29/2010

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.



Debra Ringold




John E ('Jack') Calfee     [ Dr]    

(misspelled Calfe)

— An economist who once worked at the FTC. He now offers his services to the wider corporate world — in particular to the tobacco industry — to discount the effects of advertising on recruiting young people. He contracts to the poisoners and polluters through the American Enterprise Institute. —  

Calfee appears to be one of those second-rate academics, who, when he can't get a adequate tenured position at a second-rate university, becomes a senior fellow at one of the many corporate-funded think-tanks and policy institutes that pollute the American landscape.

Puff Piece as Residential Scholar with the American Enterprise Institute
Jack Calfee is an economist who studies the pharmaceutical industry and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the economics of tobacco, tort liability, and patents. He previously worked at the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Economics.

He has also taught marketing and consumer behavior at the business schools of the University of Maryland at College Park and Boston University. While Mr. Calfee's current writings are mostly on pharmaceutical markets and FDA regulation, his academic articles and opinion pieces have covered a variety of topics, from patent law and tort liability to advertising and consumer information.

He is the author of Prices, Markets, and the Pharmaceutical Revolution (AEI Press, 2000) and the coauthor of Biotechnology and the Patent System (AEI Press, 2007). Mr. Calfee also writes regularly for AEI's Health Policy Outlook series. He has testified before Congress and federal agencies on various topics, including alcohol advertising; biodefense vaccine research; international drug prices; and, most recently, FDA oversight of drug safety.

  • Visiting Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, 1993-94
  • Associate Professor, School of Management, Boston University, 1990-93
  • Assistant Professor, College of Business, University of Maryland, 1986-90
  • Economist, Special Assistant to the Director for Consumer Protection,
  • Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission, 1980-86

Some key documents

1980 Sept: - Feb 1987 Employed at the Bureau of Economics of the Federal Trade Commission

1987–89: Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Maryland. He was also a consultant on cigarette advertising for the Special Trial Issues Committee (combined tobacco lawyers), with Eugene Peck of Shook Hardy & Bacon as his contact.

1989 Feb 13: Gene Peck of lawyers Shook Hardy and Bacon write to Bob Sachs at Brown & Williamson.

In the past, you have expressed an interest in Jack Calfee and how his opinions could be used to support our advertising case in cigarette product liability actions, I thought that you might appreciate an update on his current status, we have been working with Calfee now for approximately six months, and he agrees with the majority of our opinions in the advertising area.
The problem they had was that the tobacco industry's own expert witnesses secretly agree with prosecution claims that cigarette ads have often contained health claims. But Calfee had cleverly offered them a way to weazle out of this r problem ...
While Calfee also believes that some past cigarette advertising contained health claims, he, at least, has a response to plaintiffs reassurance allegations (something no other advertising expert has yet provided).

    As you know, Calfee argues that ads were not intended to reassure smokers that smoking was 'safe'. Instead, Calfee asserts the ads in question actually reinforced smokers' health concerns as a way of encouraging consumers to switch brands.

    By drawing attention to health problems associated with smoking, Calfee argues that these ads reminded consumers of everything negative that they had ever heard about cigarette smoking and health. His theory suggests new ways to counter express warranty, misrepresentation and failure-to-warn claims,

    As you know, Calfee is particularly useful because or his past affiliation with the FTC and because he developed and published his theories long before agreeing to work for the industry.

This was followed by 20 pages of convoluted argument devised by Calfee to prove that black is just a minor variation on the actual tone of white.

At this time he was an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Maryland.

1989 Sept 29: He is listed on Shook Hardy & Bacon's account for the Witness Maintainance and Development program [See page 66 of B&W accounts from SHB] He was doing research for them

1990 Aug: Sam Chilcote to Members of the Executive Committee of the Tobacco Institute.

[A]t the June meeting, this Committee asked Institute staff to make further revisions in a proposal to develop a "celebrity" speakers' program. At the same time, Philip Morris offered to share with Institute staff its own list of potential candidates, that it had developed independently.

    Those tasks have been completed. And while it is clear that there are a number of individuals who can and are speaking out on our issues independent of The Institute, there also is much more that could be done. There are, for example, opportunities to develop higher profiles for those individuals with whom we enjoy an existing relationship, and to increase within the media an awareness of their availability.

    There also are a number of individuals who have been identified who do not currently have a relationship with the industry, but whose views appear to be compatible with our own. The addition of new speakers to our program will be expensive.

    Most of these individuals command substantial consulting fees; media and other activity will require a new commitment of funds, although an exact amount cannot be determined until candidates have been approached.
The list of potential candidates include:
JOHN CALFE, professor of business management, University of Maryland, former Federal Trade Commission staff member

1995 Dec 15: Josh Slavitt at Philip Morris is updating the main disinformation team at PM USA. He is in charge of organising the company project opposing FDA advertising ban proposals. Calfee is working for their coalition partner, the American Advertising Federation (AAF)

AAF — Comments being prepared by Jack Calfee. My understanding is that he has just started them. I will follow up to determine status.

1996: An article titled, A Million for your Thoughts (Industry-funded campaign against FDA by conservative think-tanks) by Public Citizen.

Another AEl "adjunct scholar," Robert M Goldberg, specifically attacks Commissioner David Kessler, bluntly telling readers of the Wall Street Journal "Why Kessler must go:'

    AEI brought resident analyst John E. Calfee on board last year to push for radical changes in the FDA. Calfee serves on the advisory committee for the Progress and Freedom Foundation's Medical Innovation Project and hosted a series of AEI seminars on ideas for changing the FDA."

    Among the most startling proposals that emerged from PFF's work is a call for wholesale privatization of the review and approval process for drugs and medical devices.That call is answered in current House and Senate bills, which have provisions that would move the FDA toward privatizing the review process.

1997 Feb: An American Enterprise Institute (AEI) highlights brochure, designed to attract gifts and grants says it has fifty resident scholars and one hundred affiliated policy experts at universities across the US. Among its long list of activities is:

  • Robert Hahn is conducting research and overseeing publications on the costs and benefits of federal and state regulations and on market-based reforms to EPA "command and control" regulation.
  • John Calfee is preparing several studies on the FDA's controls over the introduction of new pharmaceuticals and medical devices and the private dissemination of information concerning pharmaceuticals and foods.
  • Gregory Sidak is directing research on constitutional restraints on regulatory policy.
Top priorities in 1997 are reviving the regulatory reform movement in the US Congress, assessing the merits of the proposed "global warming" convention, and FDA reform.

    On Health Care Policy it notes:
AEI's health care policy research project, directed by Robert Helms and John Calfee, sponsors research, conferences, and publications on all of these subjects. Current priorities are
  • Medicare and Medicaid reform;
  • the growth of health-care mandates;
  • the effects of managed care and other insurance innovations on the cost and quality of medical care,
  • FDA control of pharmaceutical cost effectiveness information and medical practice ; and
  • ethical issues in gene patenting, genetic research, and the clinical application of new biomedical knowledge.
Under Legal and Constitutional Studies it says:
John Calfee is engaged in a major study of the economic effects of the expansion of product liability, and will publish in early 1997 a new book, co-authored with Paul Rubin, on liability reform and consumer choice.

[Aren't they busy little beavers?]

1998 Mar 19: LA Times article on tobacco ads, and the demise of Joe Camel. It says:

Some experts believe advertising has almost no effect. Even those who believe it does are convinced there are other more significant factors than the sultry young lady in the new Camel ads.

    "If you could do only one thing to discourage smoking, the best evidence we have is on price increases," said Michael P. Ericksen, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's office of smoking and health. He cites statistics showing that a 10% increase in the price of cigarettes spells a 7% reduction in the number of kids who start smoking.

    Some economists go further still.

    "I don't believe that advertising has anything to do with kids' decisions to smoke," says Jack Calfee, an American Enterprise Institute economist who formerly worked on tobacco issues for the FTC.

    Peer pressure and family attitudes are far better predictors of whether children will become smokers than advertising is, Calfee said. "If your friends smoke, you're more likely to smoke," he said. "If your parents smoke, you're more likely to smoke."

1999 May 24: Christopher Demuth at the American Enterprise Institute writes to his Philip Morris contact, Matt Winokur looking for financial support. They have just had a meeting and this is the formal request flowing that discussion.

As you know, AEI's Jack Calfee is completing a book for fall publication, Rethinking Tobacco, arguing that almost every important legal and policy development in the smoking area in recent decades has made matters worse from the standpoint of antismoking activists themselves. [Amazing just how wrong he could be!]

    The book's essential argument is that advertising regulation, the wave of state lawsuits, and other developments-all aimed at shifting the issue from one of individual responsibility to one of corporate responsibility, and at banning smoking rather promoting incremental changes that address smokers' own health concerns — has made market competition in the development of better and safer cigarettes impossible.

    I have no idea how these arguments will be received by you and your colleagues, [Despite just having had a discussion on this] but I want you to know that the book is coming and that it will make a powerful case for market freedom in cigarette markets — and against the serial outrages of the cigarette litigation.

    What I wish to emphasize here is that the Calfee book is a diversion from Jack's main line of current research, which concerns the litigation explosion in general and the growth of punitive damages in particular. Jack is completing some important new empirical work demonstrating the harm to consumers of punitive damages in product liability cases, essentially resulting from the effect of punitive damages in slowing the introduction of new and better products (including safer products-supposedly the purpose of product liability). [A very 'creative' approach that would certainly make the ears of the tobacco executives prick up]

    He is now well along in collaborating on a major book on the subject with Prof. Paul Rubin of Emory University. Rubin wrote a terrific book for AEI several years ago, Tort Reform by Coniract, that argued (mainly on theoretical rather than empirical grounds) that courts should enforce manufacturers's disclaimers of "hedonic" (pain-and-suffering) damages and punitive damages in the event of liability.

    The Rubin book did not receive the attention it deserved, while Washington "tort reformers" continued to pursue the chimera (in my view) of a national tort reform bill concerned with formal legal standards rather than judicial process. But Rubin has now updated and embellished his arguments and, combined with Calfee's powerful empirical findings, the new book is likely to be highly influential — especially in the new environment where the focus of reform efforts is shifting towards reform of the judicial process itself.

    Finally, I should mention that we will be organizing several conferences and seminars over the coming year on litigation issues, focusing in particular on the role of the trial lawyers in state legislation and municipal politics and on the dangerous and corrupting drift towards "policy by litigation."
The letter goes on to say that the AEI was now focussing on tort-reform and countering the claims of global warming — specifically attacking the Kyoto Protocol.
John Bolton, who is senior vice president of AEI, acquired a direct education and decidedly strong views on these matters during the Bush administration, when he was assistant secretary of state for international organizations. John will be writing frequently on the subject during the year as well as commissioning research and organizing conferences. I hope to get the two of you together sometime soon ; in the meantime, please feel free to call him at 202-862-5826.


CONTRIBUTORS:scsu in22 jrtm

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