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.
Richard A Parent
(His private firm was Consultox Ltd. with Dr Theodor Farber)
— A toxicology consultant who worked for the tobacco industry through Shook Hardy & Bacon. His company was Consultox. —
In the period 1985 and 1986 the number of cases filed against the tobacco industry skyrocketed, This surge in litigation lasted for about two years, and then slowly wound back as lawyers began to realise that the cigarette companies had virtually infinite financial resources for their defense, and were willing to use them to defeat any possible case.
This was the period when the tobacco industry's Kansas City lawfirm, Shook Hardy & Bacon, took on the task of recruiting scientists and academics who could be coached to provide credible witness during trials. The costs of 'Witness Maintenance' was generally shared out between the main six tobacco companies, using a formular based on sales, but the same witnesses were also available for special litigation tasks (often supported by only two or three companies) or by individual companies.
These witnesses were paid by Shook Hardy & Bacon on a generous hourly basis, and the lawyers usually dealt with them by phone so that no incriminating reports and other documents were left around to litter the files.
The whole system of organised defense was a gigantic conspiracy between the lawyers, the tobacco companies, and their own corrupt scientist who did research designed to throw doubt on the Smoking & Health concerns. This process also allowed the consultants to rationalise their involvement by pretending not to know who the final client of the law-firm were. This was clearly constructive ignorance in most cases ... either that or the consultants were stupid beyond belief.
|Shook, Hardy & Bacon (SH&B)|
| Shook, Hardy & Bacon was a small Kansas City lawfirm which grew quickly into a large, rich, and powerful legal-lobby firm because of its focus on running special tobacco industry scam accounts. |
It became equal in importance to Covington & Burling (C&B), the giant Washington law firm which also had a special relationship with the tobacco industry — and also became embroiled in their conspiracies and corruption of science.
Shook Hardy & Bacon eventually set up offices in London and Laussane (Switzerland), and flew its specialist litigation teams of lawyers and scientific witnesses around the world to help the tobacco industry fight any significant legal threat which might establish a precedent. To this end it set up numerous ways to corrupt tobacco science and spread propsaganda:
Shook Hardy & Bacon and Covington & Burling came within a hair's breath of being charged with conspiracy and corruption by the Justices Department under the Racketeering (RICO) Act in 1998 — and were only saved by the Master Settlement Agreement struck by the tobacco industry with the States Attorneys-Generals which included an amnesty clause.
- It ran the industry's "Special Project" accounts which were used to pay compliant academics and scientists to conduct studies designed to fail, or to retain them for a whole range of propaganda purposes. This money-laundering operation allowed the scientists to maintain that they had 'never worked for the tobacco industry' or 'had never taken a penny from a cigarette company'.
- It ran the major tobacco industry database of scientific research, and contracted special academic and professional analysts to identify which studies were favourable to the companies, and which were not.
- It employed a stable of scientists and academics to carefully dissect adverse studies and look for exploitable methodological weaknesses [All studies have them — this is called 'data mining']
- It identified, selected and coached scientists who were willing to appear in public as well-paid witnesses in court cases, or before Congressional or State hearings, giving evidence favourable to the tobacco industry by slanting and selection.
Note that Richard Parent and his partner Theodore Farber were only two of about a dozen Toxicologists that Shook Hardy & Bacon had working on dissection of tobacco studies at this time. Some of the others charged at even higher rates.
Some key documents
1979 July 18: Congressional Hearing on airline inflight air quality lists evidence given by
Dr. Richard Parent; an ozone toxicologist
1981: Listed as a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology (ABT).
[He was working with the Food and Drug Research Laboratories Inc, in New York]
1985 Feb 26: RJ Reynolds "Consultants and Witnesses Status" This lists a couple of well known lackey scientists under the heading 'Consultants' then adds:
Witness Development: At present, our efforts in the witness development area are focused on developing expertise in the area of toxicology. We are currently exploring the utility of several toxlcologists:
- Dr.Rudy Jaeger (New York University),
- Dr Wesley Clayton (University of Arizona),
- Dr. Richard Parent (a consultant in private practice),
- Dr. Frank Heir (University of Texas, Houston), and
- Dr. Donald Gardner (formerly of EPA and currently with Northrup Services in Research Triangle Park, NC.
[Judging from the tobacco archives, the only one of these five who did not later provide consulting services to the tobacco industry was Frank Heir.]
1985 Nov 21: RJ Reynolds Memo to the Smoking and Health Group
Environmental Tobacco Smoke - Currently, the Smoking and Health Group is preparing comments to several recent statements made by the Surgeon General who stated that, of the fifteen studies currently available which claim an association between environmental tobacco smoke and lung cancer, only three have failed to show a statistically significant positive correlation.
Discussions were held between Smoking and Health Group staff and Dr. Richard Parent, a consultant in the field of toxicology and occupational health. It is anticipated that Dr. Parent will be retained in the future to provide consulting services to the Smoking and Health Group in the broad areas of smoking and health and, also, smoking and health toxicology, with specific emphasis in the immediate term on examining the status of animal experimentation as it relates to this issue.
Dr. Parent is the President of Consultox Ltd. which is located in Baton Rouge, LA.
1987 Jan 27: Shook Hardy & Bacon billing shows Consultox [Richard Parent] payment
12/18/86 Consultox, Ltd .— consultation fee $7,007.67
1988 Jan 5: the case of Horton vz The American Tobacco Co (American Brands) was due to go on trial in Lexinton Mississippi. The plaintiffs charge that Pall Mall cigarettes were defective (and therefore, unreasonably dangerous) and contribued to the death of Nathan Horton, who died of lung cancer in January 1986.
Ameriean's defense on the medical issues will be that Horton's cancer was a giant cell carcinoma — a form of lung tumor not statistically associated with cigarette smoking,. American will also place heavy emphasis on Horton's lifestyle and will stress the fact that Horton.enjoyed smoking and,could have quit smoking if he had wanted to.
Defense experts which we anticipate American will use on the traditional smoking and health aspects of the Horton trial are:
- [Many others]
- Richard Parent, Ph.D.,. Toxicologist, Baton Rouge,. LA
[He will say that] "extensive animal experiments have not established that cigarette smoke causer lung.cancer in animals."
1988 Nov 16: Shook Hardy & Bacon is billing the three main tobacco companies for the services of Consultox Ltd which is Dr Parent's consultancy.
- 10/21/88 Consultox, Ltd — consultation fee,9/88 (Dr. Parent) (Toxicology) — $22,250.00
- 10/21/88 Consultox, Ltd .— expenses, 9/88 — $ 3,511.09
- 10/27/88 Meals — Dr Parent, Kansas City, MO 9/19-20 88 — $ 3.66
- 10/27/88 Expenses — inluding hotel, Dr Parent, Kansas City MO 9/19-20/88 — $97.24
1989 Mar 17: Shook Hardy & Bacon's account for the "Medical Witness Maintenance and Development program". This includes detailed lawyer's records of their activities. [To the tobacco industry as a whole]
- telephone conference with Dr. Parent regarding witness visits with Dr. [W Gary] Flamm and Dr. [Theodore] Farber
- [Expenses] Petty cash — UPS mailing of package to Dr. Richard Parent, Baton Rouge, LA — $7.11
- Consultox, Ltd.— consultation fees, 2/1/89 (Dr. Parent) — $6,706.80
1989 Sept 26: On SH&B bill for Medical Witness Maintainance and Development program p 50
- Toxicologists Parent and Farber Fee of $10,015
1989 Nov 17: Shook Hardy & Bacon bill for Medical Witness Maintenance and Development.
- 10/10/89 Consultox, Ltd.—consultation fee Dr. Richard Parent and staff (Toxicology) — $ 14,443.56
1989 Dec 22: Shook Hardy & Bacon bill for Medical Witness Maintenance and Development.
- 11/15/89 Consultox, Ltd.— consultation fees (Dr. Richard Parent) (Toxicology) — $ 9,765.85
1990 Jan 19: Shook Hardy & Bacon bill for Medical Witness Maintenance and Development.
- Sept 89 — telephone conference with Dr. Parent regarding toxicologists as potential experts.
- Nov 15 89 — Consultox, Ltd. — consultation fees Dr Richard Parent (Toxicology) — $ 9,765.85
- Dec 20 90 — Consultox, Ltd. — consultation fee 11/99 (Drs. Parent and Farber) (Toxicology) — $ 5,935.05
1990 Feb 20: SH&B is billing expenses for "Medical Witness Maintenance and Development program"
01/24/90 Consultox, Ltd. — consultation fee, $7,712.20 Dr. Richard Parent (Toxicology)
1990 Mar 23: SH&B is billing the tobacco companies for professional services and expenses for:
- 02/15/90 Consultox, Ltd, — consultation fee, Dr Richard A. Parent (Toxicology and Occupational Health) — $5,184.86
- 01/24/90 Consultox Ltd — consultation fee, Dr Richard Parent (Toxicology) — $7,712.20
- 01/09/90 Consultox, Ltd — consultation fee December 1989 (Dr Theodore Farber) (Toxicology — $30,717.65
1990 Sept: SH&B expenses for tobacco industry in general, and for specific B&W work. Medical Witness Maintenance and Development
- 09/10/90 Theodore M. Farber, Ph.D. — consulation fee (Toxicology) — $19,225.70
[It appears as if Faber and Parent are no longer working together]
1990 Oct 26: Shook Hardy & Bacon bill for Medical Witness Maintenance and Development.
- attorney correspondence regarding Drs Farber, Barron and Reno and meetings with same
- 09/12/90 Consultox Ltd — consultation fee, Dr Richard Parent (Toxicologist/Occupational Health) 8/1-31/90 — $28,647.49
1990 Nov 26: Shook Hardy & Bacon billing: Health Consultation and Witness Development fees — Special Litigation Expenses
10/25/90. Consultox, Ltd. — consultation .fee, $56,172.68 Dr. Richard A. Parent
(Toxicology and Occupational Health)
(Medical Witness Maintenance)
1990 Dec 21: SH&B Special Litigation Expenses (Shared by 3 companies)
- 11/13/90 Theodore M. Farber, Ph.D. — consultation fee (Toxicology) (Pesticides) — $5,280.00
- 11/20/90 Consultox, Ltd — consultation fee (Dr. Richard Parent) (Toxicology/Occpational Health). (Medical Witness Maintenance) — $2,348.92
1990 Dec 21: Shook Hardy & Bacon bill for Medical Witness Maintenance and Development
- 11/20/90 Consultox Ltd — consultation fee (Dr Richard Parent) Toxicology/Occupational Health) — $2,348.92
1991 Jan 25: Shook Hardy & Bacon bill for Medical Witness Maintenance and Development
- 12/19/90 Consultox, Ltd.— consultation fee(Dr. Richard Parent) (Toxicology) , — $25,344,07
1991 May 24: Shook Hardy & Bacon bill for Medical Witness Maintenance and Development
- 04/01/91 Refund for overpayment from Consultox Ltd — $8,014.76
- 04/10/91 Consultox Ltd — consultation fee (Dr Richard Parent) (Toxicology and Occupational Health — $3,113.86
- 04/10/91 Theodore M Farber, PhD — consultation fee March 1991 (Toxicology) — $5,280.00
1991 Sept 5
According to the tobacco archives Richard Parent is on the Shook Hardy & Bacon gravy train until September 1991 — but he was still enlisting other experts for SH&B in 1992. So clearly records have gone missing.
1994 Oct 23: American College of Toxicology Annual Meeting. It lists him as a co-chair in a symposium:
"The potential of a new drug to be addictive or to possess drug, abuse liability is not routinely considered unless the drug is known to have CNS effects. When these potential side effects are considered, they are often studied outside the usual scope of the toxicologist
This symposium will provide an overview of the test methods used in animals and in humans to determine whether a drug is likely to be addictive and will discuss the impact of drug, addiction on the conduct of clinical trials."
1997 Sep 27: The deposition of George H Worm in the case of Texas vs American Tobacco Company [Defendent represented by Shook Hardy & Bacon]. He is another Baton Rouge, Louisiana statistician — but with a severe memory problem.
In the deposition Worm claims to have done roughly 50 projects for SH&B, but not to know that tobacco is the client. He was vague about anything to do with Dr Parent although the two once 'shared office space"
The deposition is a masterclass in evasiveness, and it has an exchange:
Q. Do you consider yourself working or testifying on behalf of the tobacco industry in this case?
A. I consider I have done an analysis of a couple of models  for SHB. That's what I consider my work has been.
Q. Have you billed Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Dr Worm?
A. Yes, I think my company has billed SH&B for my services.
Q. Have you billed any of the tobacco companies directly for any of your work?
A. I don't believe I have ever sent an invoice from my company to a tobacco firm, I don't believe., no
Q. Well, who do you think is SH&B's client in this case?
A. I don't know
Q. Have you ever asked?
A. No I haven't.
Q. Have you ever asked who SH&B's client is and why their client may have asked you to do this?
A. I don't believe I have
Q. [Later] How far does your relationship go back with Shook, Hardy & Bacon?
A. My first association with Shook, Hardy & Bacon was in 1992.
Q. In what context?
A. In the evaluation of statistical models and understanding data sets and the analysis of those data sets.
Q. Let's go to 1992. Did they — how did they contact you about doing this evaluation?
A. I believe they called and set up an appointment. I believe I was referred to them by a friend.
Q. And who would that friend be?
A. Dr. Richard Parent, as I understand.
Q. What does Dr. Richard Parent do?
A. I believe Dr. Parent is a toxicologist.
Q. Well, did you understand that Dr.Parent was doing work for Shook, Hardy & Bacon?
A. I don't recall if at that time I knew he was working for Shook, Hardy & Bacon or not.
Q. Have you since learned that he has, in fact, done work for Shook, Hardy & Bacon?
A. I don' tknow. To tell you the truth, I don't know if — I don't know. That would have been an assumption on my part, and I don't know that to be the case at all.
[Note: The archives show that Dr Worm was given the task of attacking the EPA methodology on air-pollution measurements from 1993 on.
This deposition is worth reading simply for an understanding of academic gullibility, delusion and self-deception, if not outright mendacity.
Of course, there is no mention in his reports, letters and articles of the work being done for the tobacco industry ... but, of course, he didn't know!]
Richard Parent email
From: Richard Parent
[You'd have thought that the hundreds of scientists who spend their lives working for the tobacco companies would have been better judges of what was sound science and what was not than an outsider like Richard Parent.
Subject: Your comments about me
Date: 13 March 2012 1:27:17 AM AEDT
You list my working for big tobacco over several years and you think that that is corruption. Did I ever testify for tobacco - no! You are misrepresenting my consultation for big tobacco. I was a consultant advising them as to what data was scientifically sound and what was not.
Please remove me from your site.
Richard Richard A. Parent, PhD, DABT, FATS, RAC, ERT Consultox, Limited Damariscotta, Maine
And you'd have thought that consulant toxicologists would normally report to the company scientists, rather than to their disinformation lobbyists and litigation lawyers in far off Kansas City.
The claims of innocence here has all the hallmarks of the gun-manufacturer's insistance that "Guns don't kill people ... people do."
The role of the contract scientist with SH&B was much the same ... to supply the weapons and ammunition, but not to pull the triger. It was this constructive ignorance by scientists which allowed the cigarette companies to continue the business of killing addicted customers.]