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.
Risk Assessment and Management Commission
(aka Risk Management Commission)
In June 1992, while the Rio Earth Summit was in progress, the EPA released a revised report on Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) which classified it as a Group A Carcinogen. The tobacco industry had expected this and they had been gearing up for quite some time.
At the time a Republican lobby firm Multinational Business Services (MBS) run by Thorne Auchter (ex head of OSHA under Reagan) and Jim Tozzi (ex-Reagan head of OIRA) which did top-level regulatory lobbying for Philip Morris, was directly involved with key aides at the Bush White House trying to get the President to sign an Executive Order to block the EPA's risk assessment process for environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
This was an election year, and they failed to convince their friends at the White House (specifically C Boyden Gray and George Bush himself), because the Republicans could see political repercussions similar to those which had almost defeated Reagan during his first term. Afterall, President Bush was being promoted as the 'Environmentally Friendly President'.
However, the leader of the disinformation and political lobbying activity at Philip Morris was Craig Fuller, who had been Cabinet Secretary to Ronald Reagan (1981-88) and Chief of Staff to George HW Bush (1988-90) and he knew how to get around these problems.
So on the day that the EPA published its ETS risk-assessment document (June 22 1992) labelling second-hand smoke a Class A carcinogen, the White House nominated three new members of the Risk Assessment and Management Commission which virtually controlled risk assessment, and therefore had an oversight role on the EPA and FDA actions. Stacking this committee was equivalent to issuing an Executive Order.
The three corporate-favoured members of the new Commission were:
- Barbara A Bankoff - a Washington lobbyist for electrical companies, who had moved into tobacco industry circles in support of her husband (a tobacco industry lawyer), and who also worked for anti-environmental groups.
- Thorne G Auchter - a lobbyist for Philip Morris and the Tobacco Institute. He was a man with impecable corporate-Reagan-Republican credentials who had been forced to leave the Reagan administration under a cloud.
- Anthony J Thompson - a legal lobbyist with the Washington law firm Perkins Coie, and who specialised in supporting the power industry in nuclear waste disposal.
The Commission was mandated by Congress and designed to be bi-partisan (politically, but not necessarily functionally): The US President had three appointees, the president of the National Academy of Sciences had one; while the nomination of other members was divided between the Republicans and Democrats, with House leaders having some primary responsibilities.
By 1992 at the time of the last-round of Bush appointments, the Risk Management Committee already had at least one long-term professional scientist/lobbyist who would support the tobacco industry. Dr John Doull had been nominated by Bob Dole. Dole was the Republican leader and tobacco industry flunky who, in his spare moments (when not running for President) worked on the private for RJ Reynolds tobacco and the Tobacco Institute, and John Doull was a long-term consultant (mainly in the dangers of flavours) to tobacco companies.
The obvious suspicion is that the three main US tobacco companies were each given the choice of their own appointees: Auchter (PM), Bankoff (B&W) and Doull (RJR).
[There was also another Commission member who may well have been in the pay of the tobacco industry, but we can't be sure.]
Overall in mid 1992 there were three Presidential appointees to the Committee , four Congressional appointees (two by each side), and one from the National Academy of Science (NAS) — which gave the balance of power to the President's appointees. This changed in 1993 when President Clinton fired Thorne Auchter and Anthony Thompson as obvious cuckoos in the nest.
During the Clinton Administration, the Congressional appointees were:
- Dr John Doull, professor at the University of Kansas Medical School, who was appointed by Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole (R-Kansas). Both Dole and Doull were long-term friends of the tobacco industry;
- Virginia Weldon, a vice president at Monsanto Corporation, appointed by House Minority Leader Robert Michel (R-Illinois),
- Joshua Lederberg, Nobel Prize winner and former president of Rockefeller University, appointed by House Speaker Thomas Foley (D-Washington), and
- Gilbert Omenn, Dean of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, the University of Washington in Seattle, also appointed by Foley.
At least one other appointee is said also to have had strong chemical industry connections (apart from the obvious Monsanto link). Lederberg, of course, was a close associate of Frederick Seitz (Emeritus Director ar Rockefeller and RJ Reynolds consultant) , but that can't necessarily be held against him.
Some key documents
1990: The Risk Assessment and Management Committee was established under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 with the purpose of:
"make[ing] a full investigation of the policy implications and appropriate uses of risk assessment and risk management in regulatory programs under various Federal Laws to prevent cancer and other chronic human health effects which may result from exposure to hazardous substances." Risk Assessment and Management Commission legislation
[This has been sent to Craig Fuller at Philip Morris by Tozzi and Auchter at MBS in late June 1992.]
1992 Jun 29: The Tobacco Industry's Political Efforts to Derail the EPA Report on ETS American Journal of Preventative Medicine (2004)
The Associate Counsel to President Bush Gene Schaerr reported to the National Association of Manufacturers that the intended executive order contained four primary principles:
Also, a newly created White House office and/or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would be given the authority to enforce the executive order.
- regulatory agencies would be required to develop a list of "risk priorities,"
- science used in risk evaluations must be separated from man- agement decisions,
- risk management decisions must be cost justified, and
- the magnitude of risks must be communicated in terms of familiar risks such as "driving a car, being struck by lightning, etc."
[Craig] Fuller [ex White House chief of staff and now PM's Corporate Affairs head] reported (June 12) to Philip Morris CEO Mike Miles that RJ Reynolds had also developed a plan that would "park" the risk assessment until the executive order was finalized to delay the process. The plan was to have the risk assessment sent to NAS where the industry expected a more favorable review, as the panel included an industry consultant.
[Note that Boyden Gray was counsel to the Business RountTable and the Bush White House, while also a heir to the Reynolds Tobacco fortune.]
Vice President Quayle's Competitiveness Council [Industry lobby within White House] was told that Philip Morris joined RJ Reynolds in supporting this strategy. Fuller was not convinced that the Competitiveness Council intended to send the risk assessment to the NAS; however, if that did happen, a Philip Morris consultant Thorne Auchter, former assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health in the Reagan Administration, was appointed by President Bush to sit on the Risk Assessment and Management Committee.
Previous reports have detailed Auchter's efforts to derail the science of risk assessments such as giving testimony and a ten-page submission to OSHA on "good epidemiology practices" [Philip Morris's GEP] without revealing his source of funding.
[In 1993 his partner Jim Tozzi was paid $480,000 and Auchter himself received $300,000 for GEP and IRP lobbying]
The Risk Assessment and Management Committee was established under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 with the purpose of
"make[ing] a full investigation of the policy implications and appropriate uses of risk assessment and risk management in regulatory programs under various Federal Laws to prevent cancer and other chronic human health effects which may result from exposure to hazardous substances." Reviewing any report from the NAS was among the specific duties of the committee on which Auchter was now sitting.
[Auchter to Parrish June 25, 1992. — Fax cover only — [Letter missing] Barbara Bankoff was the lobbyist wife of a tobacco lawyer Joseph Bankoff of King & Spalding, Atlanta; Anthony Thompson was a professional lawyer-lobbyist for the nuclear industry.
White House Press Release
In addition to being a member of the Risk Assessment and Management Committee, Auchter was the director and CEO of a Washington think tank, the Institute of Regulatory Policy (IRP). The IRP's role [was] in mobilizing third parties "concerned about or victimized by EPA excesses".
Philip Morris contributed $880,000 to create the IRP "as a vehicle for the executive order on risk assessment."
1993: Feb/A The Draft Toxicological Principles developed by the FDA Clinton era list of members of Risk Assessment Management Commission
still with Bankroft, but no Auchter.
The Risk Assessment Management Commission is composed of three presidential appointees, one National Academy of Sciences (NAS) appointee, and six congressional appointees. Two of three members apointed by President Bush have been replaced by appointees of President Clinton.
Under the legislation establishing the commission, the congressional appointments were made by the following legislative leaders: two members by the majority leader of the Senate and one member by the minority leader of the Senate. The commission members are:
- Norman Anderson, American Lung Association of Main, appointed by Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine);
- Barbara A. Bankoff, president of Bankoff Associates, a policy consulting firm in Washington, DC, appointed by President Bush;
- Peter Y Chiu, !a physi cian based in Palo Alto, CA, appointed by President Clinton;
- John Doull, a professor of toxicology and pharmacology, University of Kansas Medical School, Kansas City, appointed by Sen. Robert Dole (R- Kans.);
- Bernard D. Goldstein, director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Piscataway, NJ, appointed by Frank Press, former NAS president;
- Allan C. Kessler, an attorney at Buchanan Ingersoll, a law firm in Philadelphia, appointed by President Clinton;
- Joshua Lederberg, University Professor,. Rockefeller University, New York, appointed by Rep Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.);
- Gilbert S Omenn, dean of the University of Washington's School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, appointed by Foley;
- David P. Rall, former head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, appointed by Mitchell; and
- Virginia V. Weldon, vice president of public policy, Monsanto Co., St. Louis, appointed by Rep. Robert Michel (R-III.)
1993 Mar: /E During the Clinton era this group was called the "Omenn Commision", Clinton era members were:
- Norman Anderson, American Lung Assoc (Democratic party appointee)
- Barbara A Bankoff (Bush appointee)
- Peter Y Chiu - Palo Alto physician (Clinton appointee)
- John Doull (Republican party appointee)
- Bernard D Goldstein, Dir of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Piscataway NJ (appointed by former NAS president Frank Press).
- Allan C Kessler, attorney Buchanan Ingersol, (Clinton appointee)
- Joshua Lederberg, Rockefeller Uni, (Democratic party appointee)
- Gilbert S Omenn, dean of Uni of Washington at Seattle (Foley Democratic appointee) Omenn was also on Carnegie Commission taskforce on regulatory decision making, chaired NAS/NRC Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy
- David P Rall, former head NIEHS (Democratic appointee)
- Virginia V Weldon, Vice President of Monsanto (Republican appointee)
1994 May 16: Risk Assessment and Risk Management Commission, a congressionally-mandated body, met for the first time [in the Clinton Administration] on May 16, 1994 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The group agreed to address such issues as the concept of the maximum exposed individual and the emerging environmental risk assessment area. A recently released NAS report on EPA's risk assessment practices will also be reviewed by the group.
Members of the group also expressed an interest in addressing pending environmental legislation as well as the Clinton Administration's Executive Order Number 12866 on regulatory review. Five issues were listed by members of organizations like the EPA, Chemical Manufacturers Association, the American Industrial Health Council and the Environmental Defense Fund which they felt the Commission should address.
A researcher from the University of Washington in Seattle, Dr Gilbert Omenn, was voted chairman of the 10 member group.
|Anthony J Thompson (puff piece)|
|Mr. Thompson has been practicing environmental and occupational health and safety law since the mid- 1970's. He is the primary outside counsel to the National Mining Association (NMA) for radioactive waste issues, and he has represented virtually the entire domestic uranium mining and milling industry either as counsel to NMA or as a counsel to individual licensees since the late 1970's.
Mr. Thompson is also the prime author of NMA's White Paper entitled "Recommendations for a Coordinated Approach to Regulating the Uranium Recovery Industry."
Mr. Thompson received his B.A. in History from Princeton University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He was a member of the National Risk Assessment and Management Commission, appointed by President Bush in 1992. He is currently a member of the American Nuclear Society, the American Bar Association, Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., and numerous other associations. —
|Barbara Bankoff (puff piece)|
Barbara Bankoff, President of Bankoff Associates, is a consultant on environmental and regulatory policy. She served as a technical consultant to Senator Robert Dole during the 1990 Clean Air Act reauthorization and, more recently, on Superfund during the last several months of the 103rd Congress.
She was a congressional fellow to Senator Bill Bradley from 1986-88. Bankoff worked at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in various Clean Air Act-related capacities for ten years beginning in 1977, most recently as congressional director for the Office of Air and Radiation from 1984-86.
She was a member of the Risk Assessment and Management Commission established by the 1990 Clean Air Act and was a member of the EPA's New Source Review Advisory Subcommittee.
- In his long Senate career, Bob Dole rarely introduced bills on his own, but in February 1995, in the wake of the Republican takeover of Congress and his ascension to majority leader, he brought forth his own major piece of legislation: the Comprehensive Regulatory Reform Act of 1995 (S. 343). Speaking before the Senate Committee on Government Affairs, Dole said he was heeding the American people's "message" to "rein in government." Dole's bill would have reined in government, all right: it would have virtually paralyzed federal environmental agencies.
Senators usually rely on their staff to write bills, albeit with the advice of experts and lobbyists. But Dole actually recruited C. Boyden Gray, who had parlayed his position in the Bush White House into a job as one of the best-paid business lobbyists in Washington, to draft it.
Gray delivered a draft to Dole before Christmas, which Dole then submitted to other lobbyists for comment. These included Barbara Bankoff, who represents both Siemens Corp. and Eli Lilly, and Henry V. Nickel of Hunton and Williams, a Richmond-based law firm that specializes in fighting environmental regulation and that represented numerous companies affected by the legislation.
- The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas lists lectures in October 20 2012 by "Lobbyists Janet Sena & Barbara Bankoff join McKenna to discuss "lobbying""