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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.






[Temporary: while site is under construction]  

National Toxics Campaign    


— A genuine environmental activist group which appears to have, somehow, come to serve the tobacco industry's interests. It is not clear how! —  

The National Toxics Campaign began life in 1984 as the National Campaign Against Toxic Hazards. It appears to have been set up by the Clean Water Action Project, and Citizen Action. The group had offices in Boston (Mass), Poland Springs (Maine) and Washington (DC), and smaller branches in Philadelphia, Denver, Houston, Richmond, and California.

Its leader was John O'Connor who had been a well-known progressive liberal activist in Massachusetts. The organisation's mission statement reads:

    "To develop and implement 'toxics prevention' policies that focus on reducing the use, manufacture, transportation and disposal of the worst toxic chemicals; and to work with local communities to win the right to know of toxic chemical problems in their community and the right to participate with industry and government in solving these problems.''

Some key documents

• The NTC was involved in driving the Californian Proposition 65 initiative

1986 Nov: Californian Proposition 65 ballot initiative is successful, approved by 63% of Californian voters. It took effect from 1987 and required the Department of Public Health to begin publishing annual lists of chemicals "determined to be carcinogens or reproductive toxins" form March 1 1991.

One year after a carcinogenic chemical or reproductive toxin is listed, no person in the course of doing business could knowingly expose citizens to significants amounts of the chemical without first providing clear and reasonable warning.

    All consumer products containing carcinogens or reproductive toxins — whether found in packaged food, alcoholic beverage, household cleaners, etc., would be subject to this provision, Businesses would be exempted if they could show the exposure posed no significant risk in accordance with regulations established by the DPH, or when federal law pre-empted state authority.

    Twenty months after a carcinogenic chemical or reproductive toxin is listed by the DPH, no person in the course of doing business could knowingly discharge significant amounts of the chemical into water or into land where the chemical will likely pass into a source of drinking water. (Penalties $25,000 per day)
Massachusetts was following their lead in early 1989. H.5109 was endorsed by the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, the Massachusetts Audubon, the Sierra Club's New England Chapter, the Environmental Lobby of Massachusetts, the National Toxics Campaign, and Clean Water Action.

1988 /E: The Tobacco Institute kept a file on this organisation. See the NTC outline in their files.

1988 Oct: Laura Picciano, who ran the Tobacco Institute's Information Center, lists in her activities report:

Other searches accomplished this month included deficit-reduction plans, fetal alcohol syndrome, and background on the Proposition 65 suit and the National Toxics Campaign.

1988 Oct 21: Memo from Laura Picciano (research staff) to Susan Stuntz (head of Public Affairs and Issues Management) at the Tobacco Institute. It is headed "John O'Connor and the National Toxics Campaign" and is an outline of the anti-business/pro-environmental activities of the organization. Stutz has requested the information for some unexplained reason.

Attached are some news stories showing the Campaign's tactics on some of these environmental issues.

    In the attached 1984 New York Times article, O'Connor compares the chemical industry to the tobacco industry in its denial of health effects.

    I've also included the text of the group's October 12 press conference in case that's what prompted your request.

[This makes the NTC appear to be a most unlikely target for recruitment to the tobacco industry's cause.]

1988 Dec: Susan Stuntz speech boasts in a speech to the Fertilizer Institute (about Issues Management):

"Taken as a whole the process of issues management, from analysis through tactics, has accomplished several things for us.

    Firstly, we win most of the time. I won't bore you with numbers, but we lost just one of the 145 significant federal bills in the 100th Congress, and fewer than one-in-ten state measures last year. Our image ... What's wrong with being considered tough and effective? It discourages some critics from even trying.

    Second, we work through so many third parties and coalitions that we have build many important, productive, trusting relations with key groups. Our image with them is quite good.

    Groups as diverse as the AFL-CIO, the US Chamber, the American Legion, the Association of Fire Chiefs, and Black Newspaper Publishers, the American Agricultural Movement, and the National Toxics Campaign, like us just fine."

1989 Jan 4: The Tobacco Institute's James Savarese was responsible for attempts to co-opt both genuine and pseudo/astroturf type operations. He has been making contact with the NTC in order to construct some sort of collaborative effort, At this time the tobacco and chemical industries were still trying to lay blame for health problems on each other. Savarese's report says:

National Toxics Campaign: met with officials of the National Toxics Campaign regarding possible coalition work
[Note: on occasions the tobacco industry managed to con gullible or inattentive genuine organisations into promoting the tobacco industry's line of propaganda — but this was mainly in areas of personal liberty. See their successes with the Civil Liberties Union and some of the labor unions.] This listing was immediately below a reference to an entirely fake indoor-air-quality testing organisation which pretended to be an "institute."
National Energy Management Institute: continued to work with NEMI on development of training program and brochure

1989 June: /E Confidential Tobacco Institute Document (Originating from the Lorillard files) "Public Smoking Hearing Readiness" (for the 101st Congress)

This memorandum includes information on the industry's ability to respond to legislative hearings on :
  • Smoking aboard airliners.
  • Workplace smoking restrictions.
  • Smoking restrictions in other public places .
  • Indoor air quality issues.

    Among the many witnesses that they had recruited was a heading:
Additional Witnesses:
- John Drake, Purdue University (airline PASS testing — available for private briefings only)
- Phil Schaenman, TriData Corp . (analysis of in-flight fires)
- Dave Brenton, Smoker's Rights Alliance, Inc .
- Tom Burch, Chairman, National Coalition of Vietnam Veterans
- League of United Latin American Citizens
- National Toxics Campaign
[The NTC would only have been listed in this circulated confidential document if some agreement had already been made for them to provide witness services.]

1989 Sep 12: The Sacramento Bee article "Clean food pact sparks hassel" records that:

At news conferences in Sacramento and three other cities across the country, the National Toxics Campaign announced "a major breakthrough" to enlist supermarket chains for a ban against pesticides in produce.

    But as television cameras whirred in front of an alar-free apple bin at Raley's Supermarket on Freeport Boulevard, where one press conference was held, the food industry attacked consumer activists who sponsored the event, calling them "self-appointed vigilantes" using "scare tactics.

    National Toxics Campaign spokesmen called that agreement [with the Raley supermarket chain] "a major breakthrough," but Raley's President Charles Collings appeared to contradict some of their comments at the supermarket press conference.
Michael Picker was the NTC spokesman.

    They had this organisation listed as providing a witness in ETS IAQ cases or inquiries [92761043]
    Scientific Witnesses for IAQ 1989

1989 Sep 22: Wall Street Journal Article attacking anti-pesticide/food activists after the Alar scare. This campaign was being led by the National Toxics Campaign to get supermarkets to carry only pesticide-free foods. Bruce Ames was promoting the opposite point of view that most ingested pesticides came from the natural food itself.

1990: The Tobacco Institute's "Public Affairs Files" has the National Toxic Coalition listed under "Coalition LMC" along with the "National Association of Smokers" and the "Safe Workplace Air Coalition"

1992 Oct 9: The NTC was denied registration as a charity in Maryland on the grounds that they had failed to disclose all financial data.

1995: Ozone Depletion and Global Warming: Statement by Michael Picker, West Coast Director,
    This environmental group appears to have been used on occasions by the cigarette companies to deflect public attacks on smoking and health problems, to those created by the chemical industry

The planet's atmosphere is in trouble. Modern industries using toxic chemicals create more than hazardous wastes — their pollutants are destroying the thin layer of gases that support life on the face of the Earth. This layer of gas both protects us from the harshness of the sun's rays and maintains a delicate temperature balance needed for survival. We don't have much time to reverse the p;ocess underway - we need action now.

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