Whitecoat Project

Philip Morris: Organization of Contacts With Whitecoats

  To: J.P. Rupp, Attorney
  From: Helmut Gaisch [PM, Europe]
  Date: November 16, 1987

Summary of Image
Page One
Discusses how Philip Morris should handld "whitecoats." PM hired these scientists to dispute ETS findings and studies. See background notes and quotes below.
[click on image to download document -- 14K]


BACKGROUND NOTE: As we saw in the last document which revealed Philip Morris' plans to slant the science on secondhand smoke on a global basis, the industry's tactic was to single out scientists whom they believed could be persuaded to work with, and for, the tobacco industry. They would then bring them into the fold and pay them well to criticize the scientific methods used by others, to dispute findings of studies done on secondhand tobacco smoke, to concoct contrary op-eds and articles and appear as 'expert witnesses' for their side against clean indoor air measures at government hearings, etc. The industry referred to the scientists thus recruited as white coats. The project to recruit them was called the Whitecoat Project. Invoices saying what these scientists were paid make up many documents posted on the 'Net.

The following is a document is a telex, and shows that the rush to recruit these potential 'whitecoats' was so avid that it was becoming embarassing, and had to be coordinated, in order to keep from scaring off potential scientists:


Dear John,

I had a surprise phone call earlier today from Dr. Bieva in Brussels. He was rather amazed that a certain Dr. Weimberg in Washington should call, asking him exactly the questions that we had already asked him and also offering him a contract. It made him uneasy that so much attention was suddenly focussed upon him from America (we had already introduced him to Shook Hardy). We really should not be seen falling over each other when contacting independent scientists.

When I gave you the other day -- in confidence -- our list of +whitecoats+, it was precisely with the purpose in mind of avoiding double approaches....May I suggest that we agree as quickly as possible amongst ourselves on who contacts whom....

Kind regards,

Anne Landman
American Lung Association of Colorado, West Region Office
Grand Junction

Title: Organization of contacts with whitecoats
Type of Document: Telex
Author: Helmut Gaisch [PM, Europe]
Recipient: J.P. Rupp [an attorney with Covington and Burling who helped develop and coordinate the Whitecoat Project]
Date: Nov. 16, 1987
No. of Pages: 1
Site: Philip Morris document site http://www.pmdocs.com/


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