Paul F Oreffice

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Paul F Oreffice was at various times the Director, Vice President and Chairman of Dow Chemicals USA. As he was moving towards retirement, he began to involve himself in building pseudo-scientific societies and think-tanks which could be used by the chemical industry to mount a defense against the charges that they were casual in their concerns about the health of the general population.

Note his name features in many archives and databases as Paul E.

He is credited with the creation of a few think-tanks and a couple of pseudo-scientific societies:

  • He funded (via a laundry foundation) the creationof the American Council on Safety & Health (ACSH). This was run by Elizabeth Whelan and Frederick Stare (who provided a money laundry service for tobacco lobbyist Carl C Seltzer. Whelan, as spokesperson for the ACSH, was anti-smoking, and chose to attack the tobacco industry as a way of establishing her credentials as a critic of big industry. This infuriated the tobacco companies, but they couldn't do much about it.

Oreffice established the AIHC in October 1977 (with SOCMA money) to present a broad front to industry lobbying efforts against the carcinogenic standards being imposed by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). AIHC membership includes the manufacturers of consumer products, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, paper, chemicals, motor vehicles, foods, high technology and aerospace products.[1]

Puff Piece (1987)

Paul F Oreffice of Michigan. is currently chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Dow Chemical Co. He has been with the company since 1953. Mr. Oreffice graduated from Purdue University (B.S., 1949). He served in the United States Army, 1951 - 1953. Mr. Oreffice was born in Venice, Italy. He is married and has two children. Mr. Oreffice resides in Midland, MI.

Documents & Timeline

1977 Oct The Synthetic Organic Chemical Manfacturers Association (SOCMA) established the American Industrial Health Council (AIHC) to coordinate a broad-front industry effort to comment ('attack') the OSHA's proposed carcinogenic standards. The AIHC was led by Paul F Oreffice, President of Dow Chemicals, and William H Bricker, Pres of Diamond Shamrock Corp. The intention was to:

a) assist and encourage companies to become active in modifying the OSHA standards
b) the organisation will present testimony itself
c) the organisation will also sponsor some witnesses

1977 Dec 2 The first AIHC newsletter outlines the formation and intentions. They have established a number of committees:

American Industrial Health Council has been operating in a variety of areas through a series of Committees which are addressing key problems posed by the OSHA proposal. These Committees include

  • a Committee composed of Association representatives of OSHA) affected industries,
  • one coordinating work in measuring the economic impact of the OSHA proposal,
  • another to assist public affairs contacts which will be established by individual companies,
  • a Committee coordinating work in the public relations area,
  • a collection of scientists addressing the toxicological questions posed by the OSHA standard and coordinating the presentation of scientific papers at the April 4th hearings,
  • an international group looking, at the international trade aspects of the proposal,
  • a Committee investigating possible allies among the unions and
  • a Legal Committee.

The overall effort is being directed by a Steering Committee composed of Messrs Paul E Oreffice, William H Bricker, Richard Fleming of Air Products, Harold Imbus of (Health and Hygiene, Inc) Burlington, Paul F Deisler of Shell, William C Krumrei of Procter and Gamble, George Dominguez of Ciba-Geigy and EP Blanchard of Du Pont. [2]

1978 The foundation of the CMA-funded think-tank run by Frederick J Stare and Elizabeth M Whelan, the American Council on Science & Health (ACSH). The ACSH received an initial sum of $75,000 in funding which was laundered through the Rollin M Gerstacker Foundation from Dow Chemical Company. To protect his investment, Oreffice became an ACSH trustee. [3]

The money laundry service would have been provided by Carl A Gerstacker who was on the Board of the family foundation. He was also a Director of a half-a-dozen investment banks, K Mart, and on the board of Dow Chemical. [4]

1978 CSPR report on ACSH [In the 1982]

The Rollin M Gerstacker Foundation, from which ACSH has received $75,000, was set up by a former chairman of the board of the Dow Chemical Co; the foundation's current vice president is on the board of Dow, and Dow's President Paul Oreffice is a foundation trustee. (Dow is the largest manufacturer of the herbicide 2,4,5-T, which the Council (ACSH) found safe.) [5]

1978 June 20-22 Giving evidence before US Department of Labor (OSHA) hearing on toxic substances in the workplace.
These were the witnesses for the American Industrial Health Council (AIHC) (a front for SOCMA and the Chemical Manufacturers' Association):


1985 Dec 2 American Enterprise Institute 'Public Policy Week. in Washington DC. The speakers are all Libertarians and corporate conservatives. An amazing number of the speakers and panelists give no other affiliation than the AEI! A few have CIA and general military intelligence connections. The AEI's own programs were being run by:


Paul F Oreffice receives a mention and a photo, and there are a number of ex-politicians, ex political aides, retired journalists, and various superannuated academics and lobbyists also on the list. Also a few "Resident scholars" and miscellaneous Conservatives looking for a home.


It is obvious that many millions of dollars would be needed every year to keep this operation ticking-over. Someone has very deep pockets, and when you look at the giant corporations represented on the Board of Trustees, it is not hard to guess where the cash comes from.

1996 Ralph Nader's A Million for your Thoughts about the (Industry-funded campaign against FDA by conservative think-tanks (published by Public Citizen)
The pharmaceutical and medical device industries also have a more direct role in steering the American Enterprise Institute (AEl). Two of the industries' leaders serve on the think tank's board of directors: Edwin L Artz, chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble Co., which reported profits of $2.645 billion in 1995, and Paul F Oreffice, a former chairman of Dow Chemical, a chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturer which reported profits of $2.071 billion in 1995. [8]


  1. George P. Daston, "Comments on a Children's Health Effects Testing Program", Environment Protection Agency, Attachment P: Statement by George Daston, undated but first indexed on the web in November 2002. The appendix notes that Gaston is from Procter & Gamble.

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