Senator Cook Denounces the Lasker Syndicate

On Feb. 7, 1973, Sen. Marlow Cook, R-KY, thunderously denounced the Lasker Syndicate and its conspiracy to control and manipulate information. HIS WORDS ARE AS TRUE TODAY AS THEY WERE NEARLY 30 YEARS AGO. The same conspiracy continues, as no less than a Lasker dynasty, still using its control of funding to commit scientific fraud, still unscrutinized by the Department of Justice. Moreover, in that regard, the Lasker Syndicate has now corrupted the fundamental tenets of justice, and turned the DOJ into its own corrupt pawn! However, Sen. Cook's belief that the media were merely innocent dupes of the Lasker Syndicate has been conclusively proven false by their systematic campaign to brainwash the public with the Big Lie that smoking is an economic burden, in order to lay the foundation for the tobacco lawsuits. Furthermore, the media conspirators have buried the existence of the Lasker Syndicate, the better to deceive the public. From the Congressional Record:

Mr. Cooke: Mr. President, the war against tobacco has been as protracted as was the fighting in Vietnam. Both have been waged for more than a decade... Mr. President, I come from a State that produces more burley tobacco than any other State in the United States. Once again, as in the past, January has brought with it the opening of the annual winter offensive against 50 million adult Americans who choose to smoke cigarettes. Once again, as in the past, this campaign has been preceded by a massive bombardment of charges that masquerade as "overwhelming scientific evidence."

The campaign against smoking looks like science; it is packaged like science; it is promoted as science. But it sure is not science. It is a whole 'nother smokescreen.

It is, in fact, a dangerously deceptive exercise in behavioral modification through manipulating and controlling the information on which decisions are based...

...Presidents come and go. So do Cabinet secretaries. But the HEW staff stays on -- secure in its anonymity -- and continues to turn out its antismoking reports. These old and practiced hands continue to promote their report to Congress, the medical community, and to the press as objective and complete scientific evidence, when, in fact, a more accurate label would be a one-sided propaganda tract.

In the cigarette controversy, it is also true that Congress, the press, the public, and even the White House, operate under a serious information disadvantage. They are all dependent on information collected and controlled by entrenched Federal bureaucrats who operate anonymously, in the dark nooks and crannies of the Federal Establishment.

I intend to throw light on their dark terrain, to turn over the rocks that shelter them, and to let everyone see just what and who emerges.

Title 42, Section 241 of the United States Code establishes the "general powers and duties" of the Public Health Service. That section reads in part:

Promote the coordination of, research, investigation, experiments, demonstrations and studies relating to the causes, diagnosis, treatment, control and prevention of physical and mental diseases and impairments of man...

Certainly, such a broad and general function would include the coordination of all activities relating to diseases, and not just those activities which tend to support the theories of certain individuals. To the contrary, unfortunately, the activities of Dr. Daniel Horn and his staff have failed to disclose any unbiased, scientific research. Horn and company were set up by Surgeon General Luther Terry, who leaped into prominence with the 1964 report on smoking and health. By 1967, he had established his clearinghouse in the Public Health Service with staff, funds, and mission.

From the start, Dr. Horn's mission has been, on the one hand, to reduce the number of cigarette smokers and, on the other, to serve as a central source of scientific information on smoking and health. And be responsible for HEW to Congress on this subject. To his credit, our last Surgeon General, Dr. Steinfeld, agreed that these functions should be separated, because criticism of the apparent conflict was an "excellent point."

...Incredibly, the first revelation is the shocking fact that the same individual who is charged with collecting and distributing all available material on the subject of smoking and health and report it to the Congress is the very same person who is responsible for conducting the Government's anti-smoking activities. That is rather strange. One and the same individual is judge, jury, prosecuting attorney, and chief investigator. This state of affairs has persisted since 1966.

The fox guarding the chicken house is Daniel Horn, Ph.D., a psychologist who came to government in 1963 from the American Cancer Society, an organization which is frankly and honestly dedicated to the elimination of cigarette smoking in the United States.

... Last year he prepared a chapter for the report entitled "Public Exposure to Air Pollution from Cigarette Smoke"... The overall effect was calculated to raise the fear that nonsmokers were being harmed by their smoking neighbors. We were led to believe that the chapter contained "positive" evidence of harm to nonsmokers in confined places such as airplanes. And it was successful. The now-departed Surgeon General raised the battle cry: "Ban smoking in public places..."

...The issue here is the abuse and misuse of science. The examples happen to deal with tobacco, but the impact is far wider. In fact it undermines intelligent decisionmaking for sound policy on a dozen fronts... Are you concerned about increased infant mortality, premature births, and deaths of newborn babies in our urban ghettos? Do not wrestle with the difficulties of improving medical care delivery in the slums; just put up a no smoking sign...

...Wittingly or unwittingly, the National Institutes are being involved. Dr. Horn and his band have prevailed on NIH to set up an ad hoc advisory committee on smoking and health. He prevailed on NIH to approve of a secret meeting to be held last month in, of all places, the American Cancer Society office on 52d Street in New York City. They prevailed on those duly constituted Federal officials to flout the spirit and letter of Public Law 92-408, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and fail to list the meeting in the Federal Register.

Fortunately, Sen. ERVIN caught them in the act. But nevertheless they prevailed on the NIH to reschedule the meeting for February 14 -- St. Valentine's Day, perhaps with Al Capone's massacre in mind, and they further flouted the law by listing the announcement of the meeting, not in the Federal Register, but in the classified advertising columns of the Washington Post amid the lost-and-found items, puppies-for-sale, and my-wife-having-left-my-bed-and-board ads.

Finally, when they were forced to use the Federal Register, they prevailed on HEW to hold out to the bitter end, and list the meeting as persuant to an Executive order rather than the congressionally enacted Public Law 92-543.

Mr. President, I now have in my possession the agenda of this hanging jury and would like to read it into the record at this point:

AD HOC COMMITTEE ON SMOKING AND HEALTH, NATIONAL CANCER ADVISORY BOARD

National Institutes of Health, February 14, 1973.

1. Charge to the Committee-- Recommendations on setting levels of tar and nicotine through legislative means.

2. Analysis of current legislation that may be used to establish maximum levels of tar and nicotine.

3. Legislative recommendations for establishment and enforcement of maximum levels of tar and nicotine.

4. Review of current NCI-NHLI efforts in smoking and health, and recommendations for their better organization and funding.

5. Establishment of epidemiological monitoring studies that may establish the effectiveness of legislation.

LIST OF PROPOSED MEMBERSHIP

Ad Hoc Committee on Smoking and Health

Dr. Philippe Shubik (Chairman), Eppley Institute.

Dr. Theodore Cooper, NHLI.

Mr. Emerson Foote, ACS.

Mr. James S. Gilmore, Gilmore Broadcasting.

Dr. Gio Gori (Executive Secretary), NCI.

Dr. Daniel Horn, National Clearinghouse for Smoking and Health.

Dr. Charles Kensler, Arthur D. Little, Inc.

Dr. Kenneth Krabbenhoft, Wayne State University.

Mrs. Mary Lasker, Lasker Foundation.

Dr. Jonathan Rhoads, Univ. of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Robert Bingler, NHLI.

Mr. Laurance Rockefeller, Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Dr. Umberto Saffiotti, NCI.

Mr. Benno Schmidt, J.H. Whitney & Co.

Dr. Frederick Seitz, Rockefeller University.

Dr. Luther Terry, University Associates, Inc.

Dr. Ernest Wynder, American Health Foundation.

Now finally, Mr. President, let me run down a list of a few of the names of this stacked jury upon whose advice the Congress and the Presidency is dependent. First, there is Dr. Horn, whose name after this speech should be a household word. He was a former employee of the American Cancer Society. Second, there is Mary Lasker. She is a health lobbyist second to none, and a power behind the scenes at NIH under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and now I am afraid, my President. She is a member of the board of the American Cancer Society. Third, there is Emerson Foote. He is a retired advertising agency man who fattened on cigarette accounts, and who now produces the Madison Avenue flourish to the antismoking and birth control campaigns. He is the author of full page ads headlined, "The Population Bomb is Ticking." He is a member of the board of the American Cancer Society. Fourth, there is Luther Terry, the Surgeon General who in 1964 was propelled from bureaucratic anonymity to media celebrity through antismoking campaigns. He is working for the American Cancer Society. Fifth, there is Jonathan Rhoads, who is a former president of the American Cancer Society. Sixth, there is Ernest Wynder, a tireless worker, who has built his career literally on the backs of the white mice he has painted with smoke condensate. Last year his HEW grants totalled nearly a million dollars and he has received two million dollars this year. Another on the panel is James Gilmore. I do not know him and do not in any way impugn his ability. But I must wonder at his expertise. He owns an advertising agency, a broadcasting station, and an automobile dealership in Kalamazoo. He is also heir to the Upjohn drug fortune.

Sen. Cook, Congressional Record 1973 / UCSF (pdf, 5 pp)
Ad Hoc Committee on Smoking and Health Agenda, Feb. 14, 1973 / UCSF (pdf, 6 pp)

Tobacco industry notes on a "Meeting of Ad Hoc Committee on Smoking and Health," June 17, 1973

"Milt = indicated the FTC recommended labelling; this was supported by both the ACS and the NCAB. Consequently, there was no need to discuss further. Thus, the Lasker proposal (Item 2) was carried.

"The meeting to this time had been disjointed and on occasions almost aimless.

"Foote = then asked if he could speak. He indicated that the NCAB was in a war against the cigarette industry, so what was needed was a militant board. It was apparent that members were not attending the Ad Hoc meetings, therefore, it was up to Shubik to achieve the support he needed at the NCAB level. Foote suggested that the present committee should be closed, and a new permanent committee of the NCAB be set up...

"Saffiotti = liked Foote's approach and thought it could be widened to a re-evaluation of all the operations in the Smoking and Health field, including TWG, etc. He felt that the TWG had served its purpose and possibly could be reformed.

"Milt = in an aside, thought this had advantage since it could lead to avoidance of tobacco industry representatives.

June 17, 1973 meeting of Ad Hoc Committee on Smoking and Health / UCSF (pdf, 9 pp)

<= Back to The Lasker Syndicate

cast 02-13-14