Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tobacco Company Scientist Gained Access To WHO Collaborating Center

Date:
December 22, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A new study of previously confidential tobacco industry documents shows that a Philip Morris scientist established close connections with a WHO Collaborating Center in Thailand called the Chulabhorn Research Institute.

A new study of previously confidential tobacco industry documents shows that a Philip Morris scientist established close connections with a WHO Collaborating Centre in Thailand called the Chulabhorn Research Institute (CRI).

The CRI is an internationally renowned teaching institution for a variety of scientific disciplines, including environmental toxicology (the study of how chemicals in the environment, such as tobacco smoke, can affect human health). The institute is designated a WHO Collaborating Centre, carrying out activities in support of the WHO's public health programs.

Ross MacKenzie (School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia) and Jeff Collin (Centre for International Public Health Policy, University of Edinburgh, Scotland) analyzed tobacco company documents that were made publicly available online following litigation in the United States. Philip Morris documents revealed that ostensibly independent overseas scientists, now identified as industry consultants, were able to gain access to the Thai scientific community. Most significantly, a Philip Morris scientist called Roger Walk established close connections with the CRI.

Documents indicate that Walk was able to use such links to influence the study and teaching of environmental toxicology in the institute and to develop relations with key officials and local scientists so as to advance the interests of Philip Morris within Thailand and across Asia.

The CRI is headed by Professor Dr Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn, the daughter of the King of Thailand. "While sensitivities surrounding royal patronage of the CRI make public criticism extremely difficult," say MacKenzie and Collin, "indications of ongoing involvement by tobacco industry consultants suggest the need for detailed scrutiny of such relationships."

The link between Philip Morris and the CRI found in this study raises the possibility that the tobacco industry is managing to influence medical research and teaching at an academic institution allied with the WHO. The WHO has stated that a firewall is in place between itself and the tobacco industry—but the study authors argue, based on their findings, that ''this firewall is not impenetrable.''

The study findings, they conclude, highlight a challenge posed to international tobacco control efforts, especially with respect to Article 5.3 of an international treaty called the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Article 5.3 addresses the need to protect public health policies from the vested interests of the tobacco industry. The authors say that better safeguards must be put in place to prevent tobacco companies from thwarting public health goals.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. MacKenzie et al. “A Good Personal Scientific Relationship”: Philip Morris Scientists and the Chulabhorn Research Institute, Bangkok. PLoS Medicine, 2008; 5 (12): e238 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050238

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Tobacco Company Scientist Gained Access To WHO Collaborating Center." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222221435.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, December 22). Tobacco Company Scientist Gained Access To WHO Collaborating Center. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222221435.htm
Public Library of Science. "Tobacco Company Scientist Gained Access To WHO Collaborating Center." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222221435.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins