To circumvent its lack of credibility with the public, policy makers and the media, Philip Morris (PM) uses the strategy of creating front groups. Forming an artificial third party and then assigning it an "umbrella cause" (one which happens to mesh perfectly with the tobacco industry's) gives PM and the industry the opportunity to create a wholly separate, and far more credible, mouthpiece advance its policies and political desires. In PM's front group "Associates for Research in Substance Enjoyment," (ARISE) "scientists" lumped tobacco use together with innocuous substances like tea and chocolate, put out worldwide press releases saying substance use was good for you and declared public health advocates to be puritanical, neo-prohibitionist party poopers. After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared secondhand smoke as a Class A Human Carcinogen, PM needed a powerful group to rise up help discredit EPA's findings. Thus PM formed "The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition," or TASSC. Recognizing that the chemical, paper, metal, petroleum and other environmentally-dubious industries would also be thrilled to have a group of "committed experts" who would publicly say that scientific warnings against their activities were not credible, PM invited these industries to join TASSC. Eith the needs clear and a host of willing help-mates waiting in the wings, PM created TASSC through a public relations firm called APCO Associates, which helped PM distance itself from the group. After a 2-month, $50,000 feasibility study done hand in hand with PM's law firm of Covington and Burling, APCO began forming TASSC. APCO did an admirable job of recruiting members for TASSC, too. The "supporters list" (found in another document) includes businesses from the "Family Loompya Seafood Market" and "Pinckneyville Lighting" to sawmills, mining and chemical companies, including W.R. Grace, Co., Amoco, and Dow Chemical. Today's document reveals the goals of TASSC, and also APCO's enthusiasm for creating a similar group in Europe based on its success in America and elsewhere. Title: Thoughts on TASSC Europe Type of Document: Memo From: Tom Hockaday of APCO Associates To: Matt Winokur, Director, Worldwide Regulatory Affairs for Philip Morris Date: 19940324 Site: Philip Morris Tobacco Company http://www.pmdocs.com/ Bates No. 2025492898/2905 Page Count: 8 URL: http://www.pmdocs.com/getallimg.asp'DOCID=2025492898/2905
...We believe that a TASSC-like group can succeed in Europe....TASSC, if created properly, can become a credible commentator to complement or spearhead business objections to unfair public policies....Moreover, by creating a coalition that is dedicated over the long run to speak out on issues relating to scientific integrity, TASSC can become a frequent, consistent source of information for media, conferences, etc. -- in essence, a "watchdog group" that wants scientific facts, not emotional reactions, to determine public policy. ...Specifically, we recommend that a European TASSC be formulated to do the following: * Preempt unilateral action against the industry. * Associate anti-industry "scientific" studies with broader questions about government research and regulation. * Link tobacco use with other more "politically correct" products. * Have non-industry messengers provide reasons for legislators, business executives and media to view policies drawn from unreliable scientific studies with extreme caution. To achieve those objectives, we encourage a TASSC group in Europe to focus on a few key messages, such as (i) science should never he corrupted to achieve political ends, (ii) economic growth cannot afford to be held hostage to paternalistic, overregulation, and (iii) improving indoor air quality is a laudable goal that will never be accomplished as long as tobacco smoke is the sole focus of regulators.
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March 25, 1994
TO: Matt Winokur
FROM: Tom Hockaday
RE: Thoughts on TASSC Eu=e
As we stated during our meeting in London, we believe that a TASSC-
like group can succeed in Europe. European policymakers place a significant
amount of importance on objective research - particularly as it relates to
technical issucs. TASSC, if created properly, can become a credible
commentator to complement or spearhead business objections to unfair public
policies and pronouncements. Moreover, by creating a coalition that is
dedicated over the long run to speak out on issues relating to scientific
integrity, TASSC can become a frequent, consistent source of information for
media, conferences, etc. - in essence a "watchdog group" that wants scientific
facts, not emotional reactions, to determine public policy.
When considering the formation of a TASSC-like group in Europe, we
think it is important to begin where we started in the United States by
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identifying some key objectives_ Specifically, we recommend that a European
TASSC be formulated to do the following:
. Preempt unilateral action against industry.
. Associate anti-industry "scientific" studies-with broader
questions about government research and regulations.
. Link the tobacco issue with other more "politically
Have non-industry messengers provide reasons for
legislators, business executives and media to view
policies drawn from unreliable scientific studies with
To achieve those objectives, we encourage a TASSC group in Europe
to focus on a few key messages, such as: (i) science should never be
corrupted to achieve political ends; (ii) economic growth cannot afford to be
held hostage to paternalistic, overregulation; and (iii) improving indoor air
quality is a laudable goal that will never be accomplished as long as tobacco
smoke is the sole focus of regulators. Obviously, each of the messages needs
to be modified to be useful in each of the European nations.
I. INTEREST AND SUPPORT IN EUROPE FOR THE ISSUE OF
Already, there are several opportunities to establish TASSC in Europe.
We have had extensive conversations with our Grey/GCI network in Europe,
which encompasses offices in 33 cities and 19 countries. They also are
onfident that scientists and businesses can be attracted to the group if it is
positioned in a credible manner.
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As a starting point, we can identify key issues requiring sound
scientific research and scientists that may have an interest in them. Some
issues our European colleagues suggest include:
. Global warming
Nuclear waste disposal
Diseases and pests in agricultural products for transborder trade
. Eco-labeling for EC products
Food processing and packaging
In each of these issues, there has been considerable discussion as to
whether sound science is being used as a basis for these decisions. The
diversity of these issues, and their cremendous impact upon business and
industry, provides an excellent "tie-in" to the work TASSC is currently
undertaking in the Ut<ited States.
In addition, our European colleagues suggest that there is heightened
interest among members of the media in issues of scientific integrity. For
example, the New Scientist, a British publication, recently printed a series of
articles on the use of science in the environmental debate.
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fa. APPROACH TO PROJE CT
TASSC's current involvement in a number of issues that have
international appeal and ramifications provides a logical basis for expanding
the scope of the coalition to a larger audience. This expansion could take
place on three fronts: (i) through existing scientific support: (ii) through the
supporters of the Heidelberg Appeal; and (iii) through other organizations and
groups with a similar mission.
A. Ezpansion Through Esisfing TASSC Scientific Support
TASSC currently has approximately 75 key scientists who are part of
our scientific and academic support team. In a preliminary review of thcir
backgrounds and expertise, we have identified at least 20 to 25 with
experience in international work. This involvement often includes affiliations
with international groups -- a natural ernre for TASSC recruitment. For
example, Dr. Henry I. Miller, Visiting Fellow and Visiting Scholar of the
Institute of internnational Studies of the Hoover Institute of Stanford University,
is one example of a key supporter with strong academic and international
credentials who might assist us in this project.
B. F.xpansion Through the Supporters of the Heidelberg Appeal
The Heidelberg Appeal, an offshoot of the 1992 Earth Suaunit in Rio de
Janeiro, currently has over 2,500 signatures from 96 countries. This appeal is
a statement of principles that advocates the use of sound science -- not
emotions or irrational preconceptions -- as a basis for international policy
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decisions. The supporters of the Appeal are a loose-knit group. The effort to
expand the support of the Appeal is handled through Dr. M. Saloman of the
International Center for Scientific Ecology (Paris).
In discussions with a number of our scientific supporters and with Dr.
Fred Singer (a member of the Board of the International Center for Scientific
Ecology), there is belief that this initial support could be organized into a more
"formal movement" internationally.
The henefitc of attempting to use this group as a basis of extending
. Several of TASSC's scientists have signed the Appeal, providing
the opportunity to approach the supporters with a
"peer to pcer" approach, i, e. , a "Dear Colleague" letter.
The supporters of the Appeal are truly a diverse group of
scientists, representing a variety of disciplines and countries.
By working with this group, we might be able to ensure that a
European TASSC is a broad-based group.
In signing the Appeal, this group expressed support of our basic
message. We know they will be receptive to the mission and
goals of TASSC.
C. Expansion Through Other &xiskrig Groups tn Europe.
We are aware of a number of trade associations that are interested in
the use of sound scicncx. Through both the GCIIGrey and the Burson
networks, we could identify existing companies, trade associations and
organizations that may have an interest in promoting the use of sound science.
Some of the associations that might be approached by Grey/GCI
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representatives are listed below where we describe some of these agencies'
clients that might have an interest in TASSC.
III. THE GREY/GCI NETWORK
APCO Associates brings to the table a strong network in Europe that
could be utilized in a project of this nature. The GreyIGCI network
encompasses offices in 33 cities in 19 countries. Their broad-based experience
and client work provide expertise in a number of issues, including those
involving key scientific and environmental policies.
GCI London, the headquarters of our pan-European operations,
coordinates our network's activities on these issues. GCI's experience in the
management of high profile environmental, health and safety issues on a Pan
European basis provides a sensitivity to the project at hand.
GCI/Grey's expertise includes work with a number of clients, including
the following industries impacted by science and environmental policy
decisions: chemical, pharmaceutical, nuclear, waste management and motor
industries, power generation, bio tech products, packaging and detergents,
paint. They have advised clients on a number of issues, including:
Toxic waste O
Power generation C11
Coastal pollution lob
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I,ead in gasoline
Several of GCI's Pan European projects include the Imperial Chemicals
Industry (ICI), the Euro Chlor Federation (European chlorine producers),
ISOPA (European polyurethane industry), International Copper Association
(Pan-European), and the World Chlorine Conference in Monte Carlo.
Additionally, GCI-EC, a consolidation of GCI and Grey partners and
affiliates located in Brussels, specializes in programs and initiatives which
require Pan-European expertise and requirements.
* * * *
Matt, we wanted you to have some initial thoughts about opportunities
for developing a TASSC-like organization in Europe and the relationships that
APCO and the Grey/GCI network have that might offer a starting point. Once
everyone is in agreement that we should explore building a TASSC and
Linheim's assessment is completed, we suggest the following initial steps be
. Use a TASSC conference in June to attract key European
scientists to the idea of starting a similar group in Europe.
Identify signatories of the Heidelberg Appeal who already are
TASSC members to explore the possibility of starting a
Put together concept papers about a European TASSC to use
with potential business contributors. I1~
Initiate some meetings with possible contributors who might be ~
APCO, Grey, GCI or Burson clients. ~
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We would be glad to expand upon these ideas and provide a more specific
outline and plan for the project.
If you have any questions, or if we can provide additional information,
please do not hesitate to contact us.
We look forward to working with you on this exciting project.