Gaston Vettorezzi

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In February 1995 the new CEO of Philip Morris, Geoffrey C Bible took control of the tobacco industry's main fightback program and completely reformed the organisational structure of the company's lobbying and disinformation activities. Philip Morris virtually dominated the global tobacco industry's fightback program at this time and he realised that the problem had become global, rather than being confined to just the developed world.

Bible therefor merged the active lobbying/scientific-witness arms of both the domestic (PM USA) company and the international (PMI) division (with many national companies) and creating three new, closely-linked headquarter entities.

  • Corporate Affairs (CA) now ran the main disinformation campaigns, and they looked after the 'grants' and 'donations' given to think-tanks and university institutions which housed scientific lobbyists for the industry.
  • Worldwide Scientific Affairs (WSA) took over the old Science & Technology/Scientific Affairs operations. It now controlled the many academic and scientific consultants that had been recruited around the world: the open/admitted advisers who were paid by annual retainers; those who received grants and were open about it while always claiming to be "independent" of tobacco influence; and the numerous WhiteCoats who preferred to operate in secret, and were generally paid only on a services-rendered basis. WhiteCoats were usually paid through their own private consultancy firms, or via pseudo-scientific associations (IAPAG, ARIA, EGIL, IAI, ARTIST etc.) set up specifically to provide a money-laundry service and cover.
  • Worldwide Regulatory Affairs (WRA), was an extension of the old Washington lobbyist in-house staff, but with experts in other countries, and now operating on a global scale. They did the political lobbying and wrote the wording of the bills. The were mainly lawyers.

As part of this restructure, the head office of the company requested information about the scientists who had been recruited and run over the previous few years by the regional divisions of the company. This document from the Swiss branch run by Helmut Gaisch and Helmut Reif gives us their evaluation of some of their contractors. See original document: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/acs36b00/pdf.


Dr Gaston Vettorezzi — of the International Toxicology Information Center.

  • He was the long-term secretary to various joint FAO/WHO committees on pesticides and food additives.
    [The tobacco industry put pressure on the World Health Organisation, via the Food and Agriculture Organisation. They were keen to have someone inside the tent when anti-smoking issues were in discussion.]
  • Industry history: He had been a consultant both by Philip Morris and others in the Industry on pesticide, via CORESTA. [the tobacco chemist's organisation]
  • He had been employed through Covington & Burling.
    [These lawyers were used as cut-outs, so the scientists could maintain never to have worked for a tobacco company.]
  • Current work for PM: He was on the Agrochemical Advisory Committee, but paid indirectly via PM's CORESTA contributions.
    [They had an arrangement with the CORESTA organisation to pay him, and they would then compensate CORESTA]
  • Value: His former affiliations with WHO were seen as 'authoritative'; and he also excellent contacts in Latin America; speaks Spanish, Italian, French,