Ragnar Rylander (Doc Index)

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Ragnar Rylander was a physician who worked for the tobacco industry from the eary 1960s to 2002. He became exposed at a later date in what became known as the Rylander Affair in Switzerland.

There's very little he wouldn't do for money, but he was careful to keep his associations with Lorillard and later Philip Morris concealed. He also worked closely with an Asian WhiteCoat recruit, Linda Koo who alternated between Europe and Hong Kong, where her funding was laundered by Sarah Liao.

In 1990, Dr. Ragnar Rylander was professor of environmental medicine at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and associate professor at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Geneva, Switzerland.

In parallel, he worked as a consultant for Philip Morris, USA, under an agreement that was signed in 1972 [[2] and that has been renewed by mutual consent each year [[3]. For his consulting services, Philip Morris USA pays him about $90'000 annually, while his work for the transnational does not exceed – according to his own declarations – more than 10% of his time. An internal Philip Morris memorandum informs us that the payment of this amount is a “commitment” and the $90'000 are paid “no matter what we asked him to do for us”. His main contact person at Philip Morris USA is Dr Thomas Osdene, Vice President, Science & Technology, a rather senior person in the Philip Morris hierarchy.

Ragnar Rylander
Tore Dalhamn
Harris B Parmele
Linda Koo

Documents & Timeline

1962 Nov 6: Tore Dalhamn was Professor at the Statens Institute for Folkhalsan, Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm. This is a letter in reply to Harris B Parmele (VP and Director of Research) at Lorillard. Dalhamn has built a smoking machine for inhalation research on cats and rabbits and is offering to do some tests for Lorillard. He writes:

As far as I understand it should be very interesting and certainly of considerable value to examine your three types of cigarettes with the method described above, and I am willing to do this.

I must, however, point out that it will involve a considerable extra work for me personally and therefore I suggest that one of my assistants, since many years, Dr Ragnar Rylander , should help me with this work.

Regarding the economical side, I am very thankful for your generosity. I am, however, willing to bear the cost for the smoke apparatus as well as the apparatus for registering the ciliary activiity; but I think you will understand that nevertheless an investigation of this kind will be quite expensive as it entails a lot of work (preparing animals, filming, filming counting,etc.), which has to be done by the laboratory staff beside their ordinary work. [4]

1962 Nov 30: Dalhamn responds to Parmele again saying that his smoking machines are working, and a trial run with three cats showed the animals have reacted with a considerable decrease of the ciliary activity after having smoked 3-5 cigarettes. This decrease in activity has been about 20%.

As to the organizing side I have talked with Dr Rylander and a laboratory assistant, and they are willing to devote themselves to this investigation during January, February and March.

It is probable that we can force the work during these three months so that the results can be available at the end of April or the beginning of May, provided that no unforeseen things will happen as epizootic diseases amongst the animals, trouble with the apparatus etc., which can delay the work.

The cost for carrying through an investigation of this type I estimate to ¢10.000 -- $15.000 dollars. [with 100 cats]

He wants to know who will control the publication of results. Dalhamn seems genuinely interested in knowing whether filters remove the ciliary-killer components in cigarettes smoke. [The ciliary function moves mucus in the throat and lungs, and is therefore important for 'lung clearance' (coughing, etc.) Coughing to clear the lungs is good for smokers, but a bad mark for cigarette company sales. [5]

1963 Jan 13: Ragnar Rylander begins writing directly to Parmele (VP and Director of Research at Lorillard). He appears to be helping them plan a symposium [which became his forte later] and organising the making of a film about their research processes, He writes:

Enclosed please find a copy of the agreement I have signed with SF-Sandrews concerning our movie about the smoke dosage apparatus. It is for your knowledge only as I already have the letter in which you state that Lorillard is going to pay the film. (sic)

As you see in the sixth paragraph they want part of their payment in advance so would you please forward them 4,833 dolllars according to § 6 a.[the contract clause]

The actual shooting of the film will start January 17th and all scenes taken in connection with the apparatus will probably be completed January 22nd.

Concerning the cilia symposium I enclose the names of a few people who might be of value for different papers and also for the discussion : I think Jose A Rivera would prove an excellent chairman. [6]

1963 Feb 1: Parmele is arranging to visit Dalhamn and Rylander in Stockholm on Feb 13th. This is the beginning of their personal relationship. [7]

1963 Feb 6: Lorillard's Swedish representative advises the US company that the tobacco smoking and lung cancer issues are heating up; antismoking organisations are trying to get warning labels on packets. and they have tape-recorded:

A program in the Swedish television, where Mr O Sonderstorm, the general manager of the Swedish Tobacco Company and Professor Ringertz were questioned [by] a panel. In all, this program was not at all so negative for the Swedish Tobacco Company. We have the whole program recorded and are enclosing just a little part of it, since this [the call for labeling] was one of the most interesting points. [8]

1963 Mar 21: Tore Dalhamn writes to Parmele. [The meeting in Stockholm appears never to have taken place.]

In the beginning of the next week Dr Rylander and I together with a representative for the Swedish film corporation will discuss the possibilities and the costs for having a moving picture. We will bring them with us when we come over.

Note that both Rylander and Dalhamn are going to New York. [9] Confirmed [10] 1963 Apr 3: Rylander writes to Parmele [Dalhemn is attending a conference in Paris] putting back the dates of their New York visit to May. He also adds:

The work with the film script is also progressing and I will discuss the general outlay with the producer-to-be early next week." [11]

1963 Apr 8: Parmele to Rylander confirming visit times:

Naturally we will be very much interested in learning of the progress which you are able to make with respect to a film script covering your technique. [12]

1963 May 8: Dalhamn is back in Sweden after the New York trip, but Rylander hasn't returned with him. [13]

1963 June 18: Parmele is commissioning more research from Dalhamn, and reminding him to publish his material (hopefully in Nature). [Note how easily the dates are mistyped on page 2!]

In order to arrive at an estimate of the cost of such a movie you and Dr Rylander will write a script which will enable the movie people to more accurately evaluate the problems involved. [14]

1963 Jul 17: Parmele is anxious to know about the progress with publishing in Nature and about the film. [15] Rylander replies a few days later [Dalhamn is on holidays]. He has managed to get some of their results which were discussed on French radio and the 'first layout of the [film] script' is in hand. [16]

1963 Sep 12: Rylander to Parmele: He is giving a paper at the Madrid International Conference on Occupational Health in September and sends them a copy. The film script is progressing well -- now in rewrite stages for filming in September.

Dr Ernst Wynder has been in touch with Dalhamn asking for early access to experimental results for a review of the 'carcinogenic effect of tobacco smoke". Dalhamn has sloughed off the request politely. [Parmele says this reply was 'appropriate'] [17]
Dalhamn's reply to Wynder [18]
At this time Wynder's dealings with the tobacco industry were kept at arm's length by both sides. Later he became dependent on the industry funding, and was willing to compromise.

1963 Sept 18 /E: Both Rylander and his wife Emma (also working at the Karolinska Institute) have been asked to visit the USA at Lorillard's expense circa September 30. [19]

1963 Nov 13: Dalhamn to Parmele. They are expecting Parmele and his wife to visit Stockholm in December, and have invited them to the Nobel Prize Awards ceremony and dinner. The film script and costs will be discussed then. Estimated costs were 75.000 Swedish Kroners plus additional fees to Rylander and Dalhamn.

Their Cilia paper has been accepted by Nature. [20]
Parmele's reply [21]

1963 Dec 20: Parmele to Dalham.

  • The Movie will be funded by Lorillard and extra payments will be made to Rylander who is currently teaching in Northern Sweden. ($500)
  • They want 1000 reprints of the Nature article.
  • They are hoping he will get an article based on Dalhamn's Colorado speech in the American Review of Respiratory diseases.
  • They want to piggy-back on phenol research he is doing for the Swedish Tobacco Company.
  • They want further research inhalation studies on cats and rabbits. [22]

1964 Jan 11: The release of the first Surgeon General's Report: Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service. It has taken a year of research by a ten-man committee. Their various subcommittees have studied 7,100 research reports. Tobacco stocks went into free-fall. Smokers cut back for two years following this (the second) scare.

The Surgeon-General's report appears to have created a subtle diversion in the paths of Dalhamn and Rylander. Both have become addicted to the tobacco dollar, but while Dalhamn had his doubts about being involved with the companies, he remained substantially devoted to research which was trying to make cigarettes safer.

Rylander, by comparison, became increasingly involved with the tobacco industry's disinformation and science-corruption projects.

Whereas Dalhamn had clearly been 'team leader' in the past, they now began to act independently (although remaining closely associated for a few more years).

1964 Jan 14 /E: Both Dalhamn and Rylander were flown to Lorillard in New York for a short discussion on the implications of the US Surgeon General's Report on Cigarette Smoking and Health. [23]

1964 Feb 20: Rylander suggest to Parmele that, with the film, since there is a dearth of research data on some of the Kent filters, they should just leave out the graphs so the evidence isn't so obvious -- or alternately wait for more research to fill in the gaps. [24]

1964 Feb 27: Parmele now wants more research work done on the Kent filters, which he knows will delay the film. He points out that:

The purpose of the movie is twofold --

  1. To visually describe the technique involved and
  2. To show the dramatic difference between filtered and non-filtered smoke with respect to ciliary inhibition.

[Note he is appears to be asking for genuine research, although Rylander has suggested just cutting out some of the graphs to avoid some of the problems in reporting the studies.] [25]

1964 Feb 28: A followup letter the next day from Parmele chastises Rylander for suggesting the ploy of omitting data.

We regret very much that we must disagree with you completely on the matter of omitting any and all experimental results from the film.

From our standpoint this will weaken the value of the film very materially since we feel that it is imperative that an example be given in the film of how the technique works on cigarette smoke and such an example should indicate the marked difference between filtered and non-filtered smoke.

We are very sorry that we must adopt an attitude a little different from yours but again we repeat, that it is our firm and honest opinion that the film would be very incomplete without an example of what can be learned through the technique described with respect to different kind's of cigarette smoke.


1964 March /E: Rylander has been to the UK with a crew to film the worst city air pollution (Leeds) for the Lorillard film. [27]

1964 Mar 11: Rylander sends Lorillard the latest film script. He will be passing though New York on his way to Los Angeles and return for a meeting on March 16. [28]

1964 Mar 23: Parmele's internal Monthly report records that:

Dr. Rylander paid us a brief visit on Monday, March 16th, during which visit the script for the movie was agreed upon, current experimental work was discussed, the status of Dr Dalhamn's three publications was reviewed and we learned that Drs. Rylander and Dalhamn will pay us a visit for several days some time after April 14th.

[They also have similar work being carried on by Wynder and Hoffman looking at charcoal filters, and by Freddy Homberger and Bernfeld at Bio-Research Labs.] [29]

1964 Apr 29: Rylander and Dalhamn have been in the USA and visited Lorillard in Durham and also the Duke University (Dr Tosteson)
[This is the campus of the university which is closely associated with RJ Reynolds - it is named after Buchanan Duke, the founder of the company].

  • Parmele has given the OK on the final cut of the film (with some minor script changes).
  • The Swedes have a cilia article about to appear in the American Review of Respiratory Disease and Lorillard wants a thousand reprints. [Later they order 1300 direct from the magazine]
  • Dr Morris Fishbein [a long-term scientific consultant with Lorillard] is promoting a longer version of their paper on filters and cilia to the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
  • They have not heard back from Dr Tosteson about the cilia symposum.[30]

1964 May 5: Morris Fishbein [a tobacco scientific consultant] and his wife Anne are staying at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm and are expecting "Bud" [Schultz] (one of Parmele's laboratory associates) to arrive shortly. He has been visiting Dalhamn's laboratory and highly praises his techniques. He writes:

I have also seen some of his results which are highly favorable to Kent as compared with several other types of cigarets.

Fishbein is also receiving the celebrity treatment by the Swedish media, and expects to receive an award from the Swedish Medical Association.
[This can only have been engineered through the Swedish tobacco industry - there's no other justification for such an award.]

Note that Lorillard scientists and the Karolinska group are virtually on weekly commutes between the two countries, and each side is glad-handing the other.

1964 May 5: Parmele to Dalhamn: Professor Tosteson at the Duke University will sponsor a symposium on the physiology of cilia. He has selected a Chairman, and is running the symposium About thirty scientists will be invited to a Durham conference in the fall. Clearly Lorillard's name is being kept out of this operation.

Rylander is now being ccd on letters to Tore Dalhamn, which suggests they are not working closely together now. [Rylander has also been doing pollution work for an oil refinery.] [32]

1964 May 13: Rylander to Parmele at Lorillard. He accepts the invitation to the symposium, gives details of who is to be paid for work on the film, and details for ordering reprints on the American Review of Respiratory Diseases article. [which was essentially Dalhamn's Colorado University Medical School speech]. [33]

1964 May 22: Dalhemn to Parmele. He has been offered a job as a physician with a newspaper company, and has clearly considered taking it -- and discussed this with Parmele in New York. Parmele has made him some sort of counter-offer to keep him working.

I hope we can discuss these details in June or July when Dr. Rylander and I are coming over to present the results of our experiments and to participate in the preliminaries for the conference on "ciliology", which will take place in the autumn. Once again, please, accept my sincere thanks for your grand generosity and I want to stress that our cooperation hitherto for me has been very pleasant and I hope we will find a way to cooperate also in the future.

[Dalhamn's job at the newspaper seems to have not lasted more than a few weeks, and he returned to research at the Karolinska Institute] [34]

1965 April 2: Rylander is to make a visit to work in the laboratory of Dr L Reid in London, and wants an advance from Lorillard on his "honorarium" and the $250 needed for his air-fare. [35]

1965 April 15: Rylander to Parmele thanking him for the check. Lorillard is reviewing and sub-editing an article which will be submitted to the American Journal of Respiratory Diseases.
[They only appear to improve the English and comment on factors which are missing]

Spears cannot come to Sweden, so Rylander suggests that he does some research in Greensboro. [36]
Review of the article [37]

1965 Aug 11: Rylander is testing new Lorillard cigarettes which have been "constructed to give a low hydrogen cyanide delivery" (which was thought to be one of the components which paralysed the cilia). [38]

1965 Sep 1: This is the last signed-and-dated letter written by Harris B Parmele in the Lorillard files. By the 15th his name has disappeared from the cc lists for internal memos, so he is almost certainly dead. He becomes one of the tobacco industry's executives who "Disappears without trace" usually due to a heart attack -- and who are never mentioned again in the files. There are no letters of condolences; no discussions between associates, no obituaries in the files. [39]

1965 Sep 17: Dalhamn to Parmele. He would like Lorillard to train two of his staff at the Greensboro laboratories for a week. He is still planning on shifting out from the Karolinska Institute: "Things are beginning to happen with the Hygienic Institution at Upsala [University]" he says. [40]

1965 Oct 15: Spears has assumed the old Parmele role of dealing with research contractors, although his title is still only Director Basic Research. He writes to the company President.

I have been reviewing our association with Doctors Dalhamn and Rylander and thought that you would appreciate knowing of the details.

There is a corporate letter of agreement which indicates that Doctor Dalhamn has been retained for a period of five years, commencing January 1, 1965 at a fee of $7,500 per annum. This agreement can be terminated by either party upon 90 days' notice.

For the year 1965, Doctor Parmele budgeted $58,800 for the retainer fee, services and traveling expenses, but as of September 30 only $16,055 had been spent. Considering the retainer fee for the balance of the year and expenses to be incurred on their coming trip to the United States, the total expenditure for the year can be projected to a value of about $21,000.

However, there must have been some verbal agreement on services, and it would not be surprising to the writer to find that Doctors Dalhamn and Rylander are expecting further remunerations on their forthcoming visit. Most of the remunerations in the past have been made as deposits to a New York bank account which may lead to tax difficulty for Doctor Dalhamn, but Mr GO Davies assured me that this does not present a problem to Lorillard.

1966 Jan 12: Alexander W Spears (Director of Science/Research) at Lorillard is sending two first class airfares to Dalhamn and Rylander for a trip to America for a meeting April 1. He also independently writes to Rylander giving the OK for the publication of the results in Science.

Both men are now at the Institute of Hygiene, Karolinska Institute. They are doing mouth absorption experiments and testing the use of anti-inflamatory/anti-cough ingredients in the tobacco. [41] [42]

1966 April: Dalhamn has applied for a patent on the anti-cough ingredient. [43]

1966 Apr 6: Dalhamn has now joined Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's largest daily newspaper as a medical writer in their Stockholm office. However he is still continuing his research program.

First 1 want to thank you for the great hospitality Dr Rylander and I enjoyed at our stay in New York. On behalf of Dr Rylander and myself I can assure you that the past four years collaboration between us and Lorillard on our account has been very pleasant and stimulating.

Their "research program for the coming hear is completely filled" and at Lorillard's request, Dalhamn has been invited to attend the November 2-3 1966 AMA-ERF conference in Colorado Springs. It appears as if Rylander has not been included in the patent application. [44]

Making contact with Philip Morris

1966 Aug 31: Max Hausermann at FTR's Neuchatel Laboratories (then called "United Tobacco Factories SA") is writing to Robert Carpenter, Senior Scientist at Philip Morris's Richmond Research laboratories.

Enclosed are reports on my visits to Drs. Harris and Negroni (a more complete report will be given by Dr. Luchsinger) and to Professor Dalhamn and Dr Rylander. A report on the visit to INBIFO will follow soon. [45]

1966 Dec 27: Rylander is now at the National Institute of Public Health in Stockholm ("Statens Institut") and dealing with Spears at Lorillard directly . [46]

1967 July 20: Peter Luchsinger's memo to Robert Carpenter at Philip Morris Richmond, reviewing decisions taken at a meeting two days before:

"We have heard from Dick Goldhammer [of FDRL] that [Ragnar] Rylander will attend the New York meeting as well as [Freddy] Homburger.
(Frederick Homburger was a Swiss physician/researcher who owned Bio-Research Institute, Inc, at Cambridge Mass and remained independent of most (but not all) tobacco influences.) Rylander will present data indicating that the gas phase is just as important as particulate matter. He will make this presentation on behalf of Lorillard."

[This shows that Rylander was well-known to Philip Morris, and appears to have been working for companies other than Lorillard by 1967] [47]

1967 Nov 8: Tore Dalhamn is in London with Rylander (courtesy of Lorillard). They both travel on to New York for a week in December. Dalhamn writes to Spears:

Dealing with my own future, I would like to mention that I will most likely be offered the chair as the first Professor of Hygiene at Upsala University from July 1, 1968. From the research point of view it will mean that eventually I will be able to spend more time on research work than at present and that I will have my own institution. It may mean that I will have to give up my present laboratory and the loose connections that I have with the Swedish Tobacco Company. When we meet I should like to take up some budget plans for the coming year especially dealing, with Dr. Rylander and his association with Lorillard. From my point of view it is highly important to be sure of his further cooperation.

He is clearly still acting as mentor for Rylander. re: Dr. Rylander and trip to NY, agenda and 1968 Research Program [48]

1968: Rylander publishes "Pulmonary Defence Mechanisms to Airborne Bacteria" as a supplement to Acta Physiologica Scandinavia. Rylander is now publishing without the coauthorship of Tore Dalhamn.

1969 Apr: Archives of Environmental Health, a journal of the American Medical Association, prints Alterations of Lung defense Mechanisms Against Airborne Bacteria by Ragnar Rylander MD, Stockholm.


Rylander begins working for Philip Morris Until this time he appears to have been doing what would be regarded as legitimate research with Dalhamn. Now he is beginning a career as a scientific lobbyist.

1971: Philip Morris acquired INBIFO (Inbifo Institut für biologische Forschung GmbH) their secret research institute in Cologne, Germany. The US company needed to keep all dealings with INBIFO confidential and at arms-length to avoid any possible discovery of incriminating documents in the USA during courtroom discovery. They therefore hired Rylander as a liason with their Swiss subsidiary FTR, which in turn would communicate with PM in New York.

1972: Rylander begins to work as a consultant for Philip Morris, USA, under an agreement that was signed in 1972 and renewed by mutual consent each year since: [49] And PM internal notification [50]

1973 July 11 Rylander has proposed to Philip Morris that they run a "Workshop on Effects of Tobacco Smoke on Nonsmokers." Helmut Wakeham, his Philip Morris contact can see the propaganda benefit in this workshop:

I am strongly urging Philip Morris and the rest of the industry to give immediate support to this proposal by making a $30, 000 grant to the University of Geneva. The report from the proposed conference could be invaluable in putting some sense into the legislative drive to restrict smoking in public places, and the sooner the better.

Wakeham suggests that the Tobacco Institute should also be involved. [51]

1973 Aug Rylander has come to the attention of RJ Reynolds,[52] and is now dealing with the tobacco industry as a Professor of Hygiene at the Institute of Public and Preventive Medicine at the University of Geneva. [53]

1973 Oct 5:Rylander is now working for Philip Morris under Helmut Wakeham, the head of the Research and Development division. However he is running a workshop of some kind which is being organised with Max Hausermann and Don Hoel of Shook Hardy & Bacon. This turned out to be the "Tobacco Smoke Effects on the Non Smoker" workshop run in Bermuda with many tobacco scientists (including Theodor Sterling).[54] Also the workshop report [55] and [56] The 'proceedings' of this workshop were cobbled together by Rylander without reference to a recording or discussion notes, and published as a Supplement in the Scandinavian Journal of Respiratory Diseases in 1974. [57]

In 1974 there are 939 documents in the tobacco archives which carry the "Rylander" name. He is very busy working for Philip Morris.

1974 July 24: The Draft proceedings from the Bermuda workshop are being cleaned up and polished by Philip Morris scientific PR staff, prior to them being sent to a journal for publishing. [58]

1974 Aug 15: Nicholas J Fina, who worked as a scientific PR and ghost-writer for Philip Morris has "revised" one of Rylander's papers (as per Dr Helmut Wakeham's recommendations) to make it confirm with the publishing policy of 'Science' journal. Rylander is also being given the names of possible referees. [59] Rylander himself is revising documents for Philip Morris, and he is 'considering working with Theodore Sterling on "rewriting the criteria paper". [60]

1974 Dec 8: Rylander, writing from the University of Gothenberg, is now acting as the supervisor for the animal inhalation and skin-painting experiments being carried out at the secret Philip Morris laboratory in Germany (INBIFO). He makes visits to INBIFO and acts as a supervisor on the inhalation studies, and also advises Helmut Wakeham about the facilities and the research protocols. [61]

By coincidence, in 1975 there are also 939 documents in the tobacco archives which carry the "Rylander" name. He is still very busy working for Philip Morris.

1975 Oct 18: Rylander has met Richard Binns of BAT during a Tobacco Working Group meeting in the USA, and is following up on this connection by inviting him to visit Gothenburg for a "small informal meeting". [62]

In 1976 there were 1040 documents in the tobacco archives which carry the "Rylander" name. He is still working for Philip Morris, but also making approaches to British-American Tobacco (BAT).

1976 Mar 22-25: A report by a BAT scientist (unnamed - probably Binns) on a visit to Rylander's laboratories at the University of Gothenburg shows that his inhalation laboratory is also doing research work for chemical companies (ICI). His lung-cancer studies at this time involved manganese dioxide dust, cotton dust and an unnamed organic solvent.

His smoke exposure system is described as "technically rather crude", and he can handle only very few animals (hamsters) at a time. [63]

1976 Nov 12: Correspondence with Richard Binns, Group R&D Center, British American Tobacco, Southhampton.[64]

1976 Dec 7: An Invoice sent to Philip Morris by Rylander for the services of his laboratory (NOTE: not on university letterhead -- so private invoice) is for $10,000, and for his own consulting services he charges $250 a day. [65]

1977 Jan: Rylander's studies for Philip Morris appear to be on the possible synergistic effects of dust on the development of lung cancer in his smoking hamsters. He found that there was some sort of synergistic effect with manganese dioxide and cigarette smoke.

He has obviously found (judging from the notes) that occupational exposure to dust may cause an increase in pulmonary disease in smoker versus non-smokers (as was also found with asbestos dust by Selikoff and cotton dust) [66]

In 1978 there are also 981 documents in the tobacco archives which carry the "Rylander" name.

Rylander is still doing INBIFO work for Philip Morris and corresponding extensively with Binns at BAT in London
He is also speaking at conferences of the American Lung Association and American Thoracic Society and to participants of the inhalation Toxicology Workshop.

1978 June 8:Tom Osdene at PM R&D sends Rylander a check (paid into his private account) for $10,000 [Which appears to be the standard ?quarterly? consulting fee] [67]

1978 Oct 13:Tom Osdene at PM R&D sends Rylander a check (paid into his private account) for $10,609. This is the standard consulting fee July-September (quarterly) plus some expenses. It is payment for his INBIFO work. [68] See invoice [69]

1978 Oct 14: Rylander asks Tom Osdene at Philip Morris for an additional $7,600 dollars "to be added to my Gothenburg budget for this year ..." [70]

1978 Oct 31: A check from Philip Morris R&D for Professional Services (no date details) $7,600 is paid into Rylander's account with the Chemical Bank of New York. [71]

In 1979 there are also 939 documents in the tobacco archives which carry the "Rylander" name.

1979 Mar 5: Tom Osdene sends Rylander a check (paid into his private account) for $10,000 -- the standard quarterly consulting fee. [72]

In 1980 there are also 963 documents in the tobacco archives which carry the "Rylander" name.

In 1982 there were 1315 documents in the tobacco archives which carry the "Rylander" name.

1982 Jan 27: Rylander is now working for the wider US tobacco industry on matters that RJ Reynolds feels needed to be discussed by the industry's Committee of Counsel. [73]

1982 Apr 20 :Rylander is planning a Symposium on public smoking which will probably be held at the University of Geneva. The combined US tobacco industries are funding the conference via the Committee of Counsel (meeting of all inhouse lawyers). [74]

1982 Sep 16: Rylander has been planning a 'Symposium' with the help of Kansas City law firm Shook Hardy & Bacon. Stevens of Lorillard thank's lawyer Don Hoel of SH&B for helping to get the project going. [75] This appears to be Rylander's workshop introduction piece. [76]

In 1983 there were 1739 documents in the tobacco archives which carry the "Rylander" name.

He is still working for Philip Morris on the overall supervision of INBIFO while running Symposia for the US lawyers of the tobacco industry.

1984 March : Rylander ran a three-day scientific workshop on ETS at the University of Geneva, supported by a grant from the US Tobacco Institute. They (later) wanted copies to send to members of Congress, journalists, and the Secretary of the DHHS and Surgeon General. [77]

In the year 1984, the tobacco archives have 1829 documents with the name "Rylander".

1984 Mar 15 :Don Hoel of Shook Hardy & Bacon has met with Rylander who is retaining the rights to the report generated at his Geneva conference. He wants to handle itself himself and flog the reprints in Europe. He is selling them for $12 a copy, and the Tobacco Institute will need to outlay $1,900 to buy a quantity for their own use. Shook Hardy have provided him with a list of medical school libraries in the USA. [78] See also [79]

In the year 1986, the tobacco archives have 2011 documents with the name "Rylander".

In the year 1988, the tobacco archives have 873 documents with the name "Rylander".

He is still doing the INBIFO supervision work for Philip Morris.

1988 Oct 17 :Rylander is reporting still to Tom Osdene at the S&T division of Philip Morris USA. He has been testing many different substances to see if they create inflamation of the lungs if inhaled. They are trying to blame everything under the sun as the possible cause of "Sick Building Syndrome" (a term they invented) including the "keeping of birds". He is working with data from Theodor Sterling's database. [80]

1990 Feb 19-21: The Toxicology Forum has a special Session on "Health Effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke" with many well-funded speakers who work for the tobacco industry. Gio Gori, one of the worst, is the Chairman of the session.

  • Ragnar Rylander reviews the Bermuda workshop "Assessing Low Risk Agents for Lung Cancer"
  • Philip Witorsch (IAPAG) reviews "Respiratory Effects"
  • Lawrence Wexler talked on Cardiovascular Effects


1990 Sept 6: Rylander to Thomas Osdene: His first mention of the Geneva study on the respiratory effects on children by second-hand smoke:

I visited INBIFO (Inbifo Institut für biologische Forschung GmbH) yesterday and we had a good discussion on ETS. I have initiated a pilot study in Geneva on respiratory health in children and diet habits to test the hypothesis that this could be important and also related to ETS as outlined in my letter to EPA.[82]

The letter shows that he had been put in contact with Professor Linda Koo, an Asian WhiteCoat at Hong Kong University who was paid secretly through Sarah Liao, the wife of Hong Kong's Postmaster General.

1991 Jan 29: Ragnar Rylander writes to Thomas Osdene:

As agreed I will keep you informed about the development in the following special projects :

1. Linda Koo group developments particularly risk factors for lung cancer in in-smokers
2. Geneva study on respiratory diseases in children with relation to diet factors and ETS.[83]

This letter refers to an agreement between Philip Morris and Rylander, and it should be noted that the Geneva study on children was being treated as a “special project” which meant that it was not subject to scrutiny of any Advisory Board and was to remain secret.

1991 Feb 18: , Rylander sends Osdene a two-page letter with a paragraph dedicated to the Geneva study :

The questionnaire for the child respiratory disease/diet project in Geneva has now been finalized and I had an organization meeting with the group who is going to conduct the interviews. The study should be underway within the next few weeks and we will probably be bale to do a preliminary analysis before the summer. My planning is that the study should run for at least one year, but at some points in between, there will probably be a need to discuss methodology and criteria for symptoms together with someone knowledgeable on respiratory diseases, like Mike Lebowitz. (See page 31)[84] and [85]

Rylander begins the study and does the preliminary analysis before he considers any discussion of methodology and criteria for symptoms. When looking for advice from someone knowledgeable in respiratory diseases, Rylander does not turn to his colleagues in Switzerland (for example, Professor Leuenberger of the neighbouring university of Lausanne - an obvious choice) but proposes [[Michael Lebowitz|Mike Lebowitz], an industry consultant [86].
Note: this document is among the documents released by Thomas Bliley and is found on the US House Committee on Commerce web site.

1991 Mar 26: Rylander informs Osdene by fax:

The Geneva child infection – diet programme will start shortly after Easter – the questionnaire has now been tested in a pilot experiment. [87]

1991 Apr 15: Rylander reports to Osdene referring to the Geneva study:

We also reviewed the Geneva project on child respiratory health ETS exposure and diet habits. The collection of the data will start this week and by June/July we will hopefully have enough material to make a preliminary analysis. If the data looks good, I plan to look for money to run a more extensive study throughout next year. [88]

Rylander's statement: “if the data look good” for Osdene, means that it supports the industry position, in other words data that either exonerate passive smoking of any serious harmful effect on the health of non-smokers or at least entertain the controversy about such effects.

1991 May 3: : Rylander to Osdene

The various projects are proceeding nicely – we now have 150 interviews completed in Geneva in the child - respiratory disease – diet study and before the summer we will have enough to make the first evaluation. [89]

1991 May 20: Rylander sends a fax to Osdene announcing:

The field work for the child-diet-respiratory study in Geneva is now completed and we will analyze the data within the next months. [90]

1991 July: Rylander's fax to Donald Hoel, the lawyer from Shook, Hardy & Bacon, the law firm in Kansas City that assists Philip Morris and the tobacco industry in their litigation and liability issues. It is taking over the handling of sensitive issues like contracted researchers.

Dear Don,

Has anything come up concerning visit to Europe yet ? At present I am busy writing an editorial on childrens respiratory diseases and ETS exposure. Apparently, I am still accepted in some scientific circles !!!
Please give me a call at home whenever convenient.
With my best regards

Ragnar Rylander. [91]

In a post-scriptum dated 19 July 1991 from Don Hoel to Steve Parrish, of PM Management:

I am also enclosing for you a copy of a telefax message I recently received from Dr. Rylander. You will see that he is working on an editorial on children’s respiratory diseases and ETS exposure. I am not sure what this is about but in all probability it will be important for us. While I do not have any immediate trips planned for Europe at this time, it may be worth while to visit with Dr. Rylander and see if I can assist him in the “editing” of his report. What do you think?

The answer is contained in a Steve Parrish handwritten note

I said “no”. They will meet in Richmond when Rylander [is] there next month. [92]

Rylander’s editorial on children and ETS appears to be a highly sensitive subject for Philip Morris.

1991 Aug 5: In a report on monthly activities for July 1991, addressed to Steve Parrish by Robert A. Pages, Principal Scientist in Richmond, states:

1. Discussions with Don Hoel: CIAR budget and bylaws;

  • Rylander—currently working on an editorial re children’s respiratory disease and ETS;
  • OSFA;
  • T. Sterling. (Theodor Sterling [93]
  • Rylander’s project on children appears to be a matter of importance that is debated at a fairly high level in the PM hierarchy, and is treated on the same level as the CIAR (Center for Indoor Air Research) budget and bylaws.
    {Note: CIAR – Center for Indoor Air Research - a group created by the US tobacco industry to make research grants (to favoured scientist), was abolished by the Master Settlement Agreement.]

    1991 Aug 9: , Rylander writes to Osdene:

    Back from vacation and overload already; several points to discuss. Enclosed please find the invoice for project funds September/October. It would facilitate very much if it was possible to have a first $6000 from the NovDec funds – the child diet project in Geneva has advanced more rapidly than anticipated and we need to analyze the data quickly before the next step.

    If it is easier, we could also term this special project, focusing on work done for Linda Koo and send seperate invoice. Please advise.

    Data from Geneva study are now in computer and will be analyzed late next week. It should be very interesting to see if this approach works.

    For September I am still planning to come to Richmond arrival Sept 29 departure Oct 1 in the afternoon. Please let me know if this is convenient or if you want me to come at other time period. [94]

    1991 Aug 31: Rylander writes another letter to Osdene:

    Through contacts with Bob Robert Pages and Don Donald Hoel, I understand we are all going to meet in Richmond towards the end of September. My travel planning is to arrive on Sunday, September 29 with departure in the afternoon of Tuesday, October 1.

    Enclosed please find a summary of the different projects which I think would be of interest for this meeting. I have not yet sent copies to Bob or Don as I would like your approval first concerning content and scope. Please let me know and I will make the necessary adjustments and additions and correspond directly with Bob and Don. [95] and


    The summary of his different projects (attached) is a two page document that lists six different activities:

    The Geneva Child/Diet/Respiratory Infection/ETS Exposure study has been completed in its first phase and the results are being evaluated. Correlations have been found between the number of cigarettes smoked by the mother and the incidence of bronchitis, but a stronger relationship was found between the same disease and consumption of certain vegetables. […] There is now a second planning phase in the study and a complete research protocol will be established towards the end of 1991. The project looks very promising as the first data suggest that diet factors may be of equal or even larger importance for children’s respiratory disease than ETS.[97]

    {Note that the project looks “promising” because diet factors reduce the importance of ETS exposure. Rylander makes a posteriori hypotheses on the observed correlation between diet factors and infections. In all likelihood, the questionnaire applied by Rylander to his subjects listed a great number of nutriment categories. Owing to the small size of the population sample used in the study, the occurrence of associations between some nutriments and the diseases under consideration is not surprising, as there is a large probability that some associations be observed simply by chance, without necessarily reflecting any underlying phenomenon.

    1991 Oct 8: A fax to Osdene. Rylander had visits the Philip Morris research center in Richmond on 30 September and 1st October 1991.

    Thank you for a delightful visit last week. I also had a very good session with Don [Hoel] and we covered a variety of ETS related topics. In two weeks time I am off to Geneva for the final evaluation of the pilot child – diet infection study. I will send you a report shortly afterwards. […] I am also enclosing an invoice for project costs for November-December on $7000 with an additional $7000 coming mid-November. I am very grateful for the increase we discussed over the telephone – the major part of that money will as before go to the Geneva ETS related activities as discussed previously. I hope the above meet with your approval. [98]

    Rylander has obtained more money, of which will be assigned (in major part) to the Geneva study.

    1991 Oct 22: Donald Hoel sends a letter to Rylander:

    As promised, I am enclosing herewith some articles relating to children’s health and nutrition. I hope you will find these of interest. [99]

    This is another way of saying: here is the material we wish you to match/counter. In Geneva, where the WHO library had the world's largest collections of medical references plus the service of qualified librarians and access to state-of-the-art computer systems, Rylander had access to any documented study he needed. These ones from SH&B seem to have triggered a major change in his approach to the children study.

    1991 Nov 2: Rylander sends a fax to Don Hoel, in which he says:

    Thank you very much for the references to child health and diet. This was most helpful. We are now reanalyzing data from Geneva and there are some extraordinary things coming out. I will get in touch with you as soon as we have completed the work.[100] (emphasis by the author)

    On the same day, Rylander sends a fax to Osdene:

    Week before last I took five working days in Geneva, analyzing the data from the child/respiratory disease study and writing a textbook on environmental medicine in French. The data from the child study now start to look extremely interesting. After corrections in the data base, there is now no correlation between ETS exposure and the frequency of upper respiratory infections.[101] (emphasis by the author)

    Rylander is saying cryptically that the data, which initially had exhibited a correlation between respiratory disease and exposure to ETS, has now been corrected in the database -- so now the correlation has vanished!

    1991 Nov 4: Don Hoel appears to be satisfied by this turn of events. He writes to Helmut Gaisch, of FTR (Fabriques de Tabac Réunis), the Swiss Philip Morris subsidiary in Neuchâtel:

    I am attaching a copy of a telefax message from Dr. Rylander. As we discussed, Dr. Rylander is working on some very interesting data from a study in Geneva involving young school children registering for school. The study includes data from physical examination of each child and questionnaire survey of the child’s parents. As soon as I hear further from Dr. Rylander, I will be in touch with you for a possible meeting with him. [102]

    Until now, Gaisch, who acts as a money laundary channel for Rylander, has been left out of all of these exhanges even though he is nominally paying for them.

    1991 Nov 7: Rylander sends Osdene an abstract summarizing the presentation that he intends to give at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) in May 1992. He will say:

    • There were no significant relationships between ETS exposure and any of the respiratory diseases.[103] and [104]
    • From that point on, this conclusion will remain an invariant assertion throughout the various stages of the project until it will appear in the article in Archives of Environmental Health and on the IMSP Internet site.
    • Contrary to what had been announced in his report of 30 August, there is no correlation anymore with “certain vegetables”. Now it is eggs, chicken, yoghurt and milk desserts that are at stake: For diet factors, the strongest correlations were found between the consumption of eggs and cold (p=0.002), cough (p=0.017 and bronchitis (p=0.003). There was also significant relationship between these diseases and the consumption of chicken, yoghurt and milk desserts. No correlations were found between the diseases and consumption of vegetables.
    • We see that the questionnaire was going quite deep in the level of details, being able to distinguish milk desserts from yoghurts. Given the size of the sample (90 children), we could imagine that the number of variables was not far from the number of subjects in the study. Rylander therefore rightly warns his readers that “the results are based on a food frequency questionnaire and the results must be interpreted with caution” However, in the next sentence, he himself seems to forget his own advice: <Ii>The data suggests, however, that there is a relation between consumption of certain proteins and the risk for respiratory infectious disease in children. Diet factors must be taken into consideration in studies on the relation between environmental agents and respiratory infectious disease in children. (emphasis by the author)
    • Given the high likelihood that the observed correlations were random effects, it seems premature to conclude that dietary factors “must” be taken into account, considering that this requirement puts a heavy burden on future studies.

    This presumption is reinforced by the fact that in their later article, published in 2000 in Archives of Environmental Health, Rylander concludes that dietary items were not associated with an increased risk for any of the diseases studied.

    1991 Dec 3: Rylander indicates to Osdene that he is considering publishing his results:

    The data analysis of the Geneva child respiratory disease project is continuing and I plan to submit a full manuscript to the American Review of Respiratory Disease as soon as we have the values for different nutrients.[105]

    One month later he has decided on sending the paper to the European Journal of Respiratory Diseases.

    1992 Jan 7: Rylander writes a letter to Donald Hoel, of SH&B, saying:

    I intend to submit the article on childrens’ respiratory health for publication in the European J Respiratory Diseases. Unfortunately we have not yet been funded for the continuation of that study.

    When we last met, you indicated that there might be funding possibilities in the States. Do you have more information on this – I think that it is very desirable to expand the study to test the hypothesis developed from this first pilot test.[106]

    1992 /E:

    At the beginning of 1992, Rylander travels to Australia.

    1992 Mar 5: Rylander sent a fax to Osdene with the extract:

    You will recall that questions on the number of siblings and attendance to day care centers were included in our Geneva pilot study and correlated to the incidence of infection. We have now expanded on this and I have assembled a series of articles describing this particular environmental risk factor. By and large attending day care centers increases the risk for respiratory infection 5-10 times whereas ETS carries a risk of 1.5-2.5.

    Rylander acknowledges internally that exposure to ETS increases the risk of respiratory infection. In the same fax, he informs Osdene that:

    The Geneva study on childrens respiratory disease and diet was accepted for presentation at the American Thoracic Society annual meeting where I will also give a meet-professor-seminar on endotoxins in the environment.[107]

    1992 Apr 16: Back to Europe, and following a conversation with Donald Hoel, Rylander sends him a fax describing the status of three projects, including that on the children in Geneva:

    2. Children and nutrition. A pilot study performed among a sample of school children in Geneva demonstrated a surprisingly close relationship between the risk of respiratory infections and the consumption of proteins, particularly eggs (negative correlation = protective factor).

    Other risk factors, although far less important, were attending day-care centers and the number of siblings. No association was found between ETS exposure and the risk for infection. A second pilot study is underway and will be completed early summer. If the preliminary findings can be verified, the results are of great importance for public health and prevention of disease in children.[108]

    1992 May:

    Thomas Osdene, with whom Rylander had been in contact since the end of the sixties and with whom he had a close and friendly relationship, retired from Philip Morris. From this time on, the correspondence between Rylander and Philip Morris mainly through Don Hoel at the Kansas City law firm Shook Hardy & Bacon.

    1992 Jun 9: Rylander writes to Don Hoel at SH&B, sending him a copy of an editorial completed for Archives of Environmental Health. He says:

    Luckily enough our study on childrens’ respiratory infections nutrition [sic] was ready a few weeks after I had written the editorial. The manuscript has been mailed to the European Journal of Respiratory Disease for publication. We are now doing a repeat of the latter study and the results will be available early July. Keep your fingers crossed.[109]

    1993 Jun 24: Rylander is still reports to Don Hoel. He proposes to organize an international workshop:

    Studies on smoking and health, particularly cardiovascular disease and ETS-related effects are plagued by the presence of confounding factors.

    There is particularly strong evidence that diet factors are important and that they co-vary with smoking, making conclusions on causal relationships with smoking very difficult. Many studies have not controlled for all possible confounders.

    A tradition down the workshop trail would be to organize a meeting with the title “Smokers and non-smokers – confounders I epidemiological studies” and systematically evaluate these factors with recommendations to control them in future studies.

    I would be very interested in your comments and also information on where funding could be applied. If the need arise we could meet in New York or Kansas City for further discussions.[46]

    To Hoel’s ears, a proposal aimed at “making conclusions on causal relationship with smoking very difficult” must sound like music. Rylander’s offer is indeed attractive. The symposium he proposes to organize would, in its conclusions, achieve two things in one go: on the one hand, it would essentially invalidate all previous studies on ETS on the ground that they did not take into account the multitude of confounding factors that “plague” ETS related effects, and, on the other hand, it would make all future studies much more difficult to conduct, since the burden of data collection of all these confounding factors would become almost prohibitive. This proposal provides an interesting clue on the context in which the study on children and respiratory diseases takes place. The previous fax is accompanied by a “Summary of joint research activities”:

    The project on nutrition in children and respiratory infections is discussed within the institute in Geneva and the aim is to start a new prospective field study hopefully within the coming year. A questionnaire has to be developed and a scheme to follow the prevalence of infectious disease in children designed. There is a collaboration with a similar project in Perth, Western Australia, launched during my last visit there.[110] [111]

    The study on children and respiratory diseases continues to be treated as a “joint project” between Philip Morris and Rylander even though the scientist Osdene is no longer involved. However, the study seems to enter a dormant phase for a year and a half.

    1995 Feb 17: The Chidren's research project is mentioned again in a fax that Rylander sends to Richard Carchman, Director, Scientific Affairs, at Philip Morris USA in Richmond:

    The study on infection in children and diet is under way again and we should have results by early summer.[112]

    Carchman has taken over the job of Osdene as the contact point in Philip Morris.

    1996 Sep 6: , Rylander has submitted his budget for 1997 to Philip Morris USA. The budget comprises $65,000 for the Geneva projects and $85,000 for his consulting services, including travel costs.[113]

    Replying to a request from Philip Morris USA, Rylander provides a description of the joint projects, including the Geneva study on “environmental agents and infection in children”, which is the first listed:

    The goal is to evaluate the role of different environmental factors and the risk for respiratory infections in children. One phase of the study has been completed and demonstrates that breast feeding and mold/dampness in homes are the main factors. Exposure to ETS, number of siblings and dietary factors were not associated with a risk.

    The study continues in a prospective design with monthly follow up of the presence of symptoms, controlling for the environmental agents.[114]

    We still have the invariant assertion that seems to characterize the project throughout its life cycle: “Exposure to ETS is not associated with a risk”.

    1996 Oct 15: An internal Philip Morris memorandum by Loren McAlpin of Philip Morris USA, carries the heading “DR. RAGNAR RYLANDER RESEARCH”.[115] and makes the same claim about ETS.

    1997 Feb 5: Rylander communicates to Loren McAlpin an overview of his research work in Geneva since 1974, including the study on children:

    Environmental factors and respiratory infections in children. Elaboration of questionnaires with particular focus on dietary factors. Three field studies during the winter months with subsequent modifications of the epidemiological technique. Planning of extensive study to be initiated in the fall of 1997.[116]

    1997 May13: Philip Morris USA note describes the activities included in the “1997 2nd Revised Budget in cost center 2R1, expense elements 455 and 470”. Under the heading Research Funds – Group of Environmental Medicine, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Geneva University, the first project listed is the study on environmental agents and infection in children. Further down it mentions: “Granting period: ongoing Funding: 1997 – $80,000”[117].

    In a separate project, he has been included here with Professor Joseph M Wu Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, New York Medical College, Valhalla. on a long-terms study on Gene expression in cancerous cells, which had $582,400 in funding between 1996 and 1998 from WRA/S&T (Worldwide Regulatory Affairs and Science & Technology divisions of Philip Morris).

    1997 Jun 23: Rylander has now been associated with Philip Morris for over 25 years both as a consultant and as a contract scientist in charge of extra-mural research. However he still values the preservation of the appearance of independence. See this candid letter sent to Richard Carchman. He is objecting to some approach to him made (probably) by Edward Sanders:

    Throughout the years I have always been very strict to report to Richmond only and particularly not get engaged in the activities of the Neuchâtel group. Also regarding specific projects, I have also adhered uniquely to Richmond and to CIAR. Finally, I have never been involved with any Philip Morris executive in meetings or contacts with outside persons, to retain as far as possible the image of an independent scientist.[118]

    He obviously doesn't trust Helmut Gaich's FTR group who run the European WhiteCoats operations from Neuchatel in Switzerland, even though they launder many of his payments.

    1997 July 10: A Philip Morris USA internal note from T. Banty to Richard Carchman informing him that “Dr. Ragnar Rylander signed a consultant agreement with Philip Morris in 1972 […] as ‘our representative to INBIFO’”. It then lists his current activities, which again include, for the period 1987-1996, “Environmental factors and respiratory infections in children”[119].

    1997 Sept 25: Rylander submits his 1998 budget proposal to Philip Morris USA. He asks for $119,999 for the Geneva study. He says:

    The material from the original study is in manuscript form and additional data analysis are undertaken, following the suggestion of reviewers. It will be submitted for publication early 1998. The plans for an extended study were presented to the Swiss National Foundation for Medical Research but was not supported. Information is being collected for a possible renewal of the request. The project is too large to be entirely funded by the present support from PMRD (The PM Research & Development unit of Carchman).[120]

    1998 Oct 5: Rylander sends Philip Morris USA his budget proposal for 1999. This budget covers the continuation of the study on children’s infection and environmental agents, for which he wants about $30,000. [121] The request is reviewed internally by Philip Morris USA, and the recommendations are generally favorable, even if the proposal lacks specific details. One reviewer (Helmut Reif, Director, Philip Morris Europe in Switzerland) indicates that the project is relevant to ETS because:The children & ETS related topics are gaining ground in the public discussion, and thorough papers are needed (to counter them). [122]

    1999 Feb 15: Rylander sends to Philip Morris USA a revised version of his research program for the Geneva Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine. The project on children appears in a more elaborate form than in the initial proposal. [123]

    The proposal paper also includes one idea (unbudgeted) looking at Magnesium and cardio-vascular disease, and a third "Population study" looking at Swedish and Swiss female diet

    A fourth on Alcohol consumption and magnesium status has been budgeted at $32,770.

    The budget for the children's project is also substantially higher: it amounts now to $79,000.[60] The next day, Rylander sends an invoice of $57,300 to Philip Morris for “research project funds for Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine Geneva University as per submitted research proposal, revision 1.”, with the instructions to pay the money into World Wide Consumer Bank, PO Box 92965, Rochester, New York 14692-9065, account 019-2493 30. [124]

    This is Rylander's personal bank account. [1] Such mode of payment breaches the legislation of the University of Geneva, which forbids university researchers to financially manage their research activities using private bank accounts, whether in Switzerland or in other countries.[125]

    1999 Mar 10: A letter from Cathy L. Ellis, Senior Vice President, Philip Morris USA, informs Rylander officially that: Philip Morris is pleased to inform you that you grant entitled Childrens’ infections and Environmental Agents has been recommended for the continuation of funding by our Scientific Research Review Committee. We have also approved the final year of funding for your grant entitled Magnesium and Cardiovascular Disease.

    A check in the amount of USD $81,000 has been sent to the World Wide Consumer Bank in Rochester, New York per your request (copy of check attached).

    We want to fund quality scientific research and to promote the independent investigation of the issues described in the grant.[126] This is a letter to the file.

    1999 Aug 13: Ragnar Rylander and his co-author submit their paper on children and respiratory diseases to Archives of Environmental Health. After one revision, the article is accepted for publication on 10 January 2000, to finally appear in the September/October 2000 issue of the journal.

    Among the references cited in the paper, no mention is made of the SCARPOL study, which is the reference study on the subject in Switzerland and is considered very important in global terms. SCARPOL studied a sample of 4,470 Swiss schoolchildren, more than 12 times larger than the sample studied by Rylander and his co-author.

    Rylander could not have been ignorant of the existence of the SCARPOL study and its conclusions, since he was sitting in the same governmental commission in Geneva when one of the authors of SCARPOL, presented the conclusions of the study to the commission.

    1999: The Swiss SCARPOL study [by B. Latal Hajnal et al.] which also investigated the impact of ETS on respiratory health, published its findings based on a survey of 4,470 children aged 6-14 years. It reached the opposite conclusions to Rylander and his co-author:

    Almost half of all schoolchildren in Switzerland, especially those from lower socioeconomic classes are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. […] Children who were exposed to smoke at home had an increased risk of respiratory infections […] The association between environmental tobacco smoke exposure and respiratory symptoms is in agreement with several previous studies which have shown this association mostly among younger children (under age five [8]). […] There was a dose response relationship between the degree of exposure and risk of respiratory illness. […] We conclude that our study provides and confirms evidence that environmental tobacco smoke exposure is a highly prevalent environmental hazard for children, prenatally and after birth. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke indeed remains air pollutant number one for children.


    2000 Sep/Oct: The Archives of Environmental Health (AEH) published an article by Rylander and co-author Ysabelle Mégevand,

    The number of cigarettes smoked at home or any other expression of ETS exposure was not related to an increased risk for disease. […] In conclusion, we demonstrated that home conditions (i.e., humidity, presence of molds, and number of years spent at day-care centers) were major risk factors for respiratory infections in children. Dietary items and ETS exposure were not associated with an increased risk for any of the diseases studied.

    2002 Feb: Up until the end of February 2002, the web site of the Geneva Institute of Social and Preventive Medecine (IMSP[1]) contained, in its section entitled “Research”


    Diet and life habits
    Objectives: Our goal is primarily to compare populations that exposed or not to a particular factor (magnesium, tobacco) and to put this factor in relation with other environmental factors. Protective factors (magnesium) and associated or confounding factors linked to life habits (smoking). Our investigations aim at issuing recommendations for methodologies that are applicable to environmental studies.
    Persons involved
    Responsable : Prof. Ragnar Rylander, physician
    Respiratory infections in children and environmental factors
    Objectives: To determine the influence of dietary habits and other environmental factors on respiratory diseases in 4-6 years old children.

    Conclusion: No relation between dietary habits and respiratory symptoms. Environmental tobacco smoke does not modify the risk of diseases. However, we found a causality relation between some symptoms and humidity or the presence of mold in the house.

    The authors of the research state that exposure of children to tobacco smoke has no incidence on their respiratory health.


    Some of this material was drawn and updated from "Ragnar Rylander’s Geneva study on children and respiratory diseases" by Pascal A. Diethelm [127]

    This research had been conducted at the request of CIPRET-Genève and OxyGenève, two Swiss associations located in Geneva dealing with smoking prevention and non-smokers’ rights. The author thanked Dr Jean-Charles Rielle, doctor-in-charge of CIPRET-Genève for his help in the research work that lead to this report. The author received no funding or any other external material support, with the exception that CIPRET-Genève has partially reimbursed his Internet connection charges to cover the access to internal tobacco industry documents.

    1. See article in Geneva newspaper Le Courrier of 30 March 2001
    2. “Effects of environmental tobacco smoke exposure on respiratory symptoms in children [Schweiz Med Wochenschr 1999;129:Nr 19].