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CREATED 8/24/2010

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.






David K McKenzie     [ Prof]    

— A Professor of Medicine at the University of NSW, Australia who was a friend of the tobacco industry and helped them get academic impremateur for some of their fake scientific activities. —  

Some key documents

• Assoc Professor of Medicine University of NSW and Chairman of the Department of Respiratory Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital. [2048407205]

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.

    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 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.
  • 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 reciew 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..."

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

Dr Lee defended the reciew 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..."


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