Robert B. Seligman

From SourceWatch
(Redirected from Robert Seligman)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This stub is a work-in-progress by the journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to


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

Robert B. Seligman PhD, was an organic chemist who was the Director of Commercial Development at Philip Morris Richmond in 1971, and then became Vice President of Research & Development c. 1976-80. He reported to the Senior Vice President of Operations, Helmut Wakefeld and Thomas S Osdene.

In 1982 he transferred to the tobacco technology group. He apparently wanted to share ammonia and other tobacco technology with Philip Morris International companies.

Seligman was both a member of the legitimate scientific research group at Philip Morris, and also a member of the 'Scientific Issues' executive group who were constantly planning to subvert the biomedical and epidemiological research showing that cigarettes harmed the health of both smokers and non-smokers. In the late 1970s he was included in the Operation Berkshire subcommittee meetings (resulting in ICOSI - the international lobby organisation of the industry) - along with Thomas Osdene, Max Hausermann, Helmut Gaisch, Helmut Wakeham, (lawyer) Alex Holtzman [2]

There is no doubt that Seligman was complicit in many of Philip Morris's (and the tobacco industry in general) most conspiratorial schemes, but he generally appears to be peripheral, rather than a central organiser and operator.

Overview of titles

  • 1953 - 1955 Scientist, Research Division, Philip Morris Incorporated
  • 1955 - 1957 Supervisor, Organic Section, Research Division, Philip Morris Incorporated ;
  • 1957 - 1958 Assistant Manager of Research Division, Philip Morris Incorporated
  • 1958 - 1959 Assistant Manager of Development Division, Philip Morris Incorporated
  • 1959 - 1964 Manager, Development Division, Philip Morris Incorporated

Documents & Timeline

1952 Mar Philip Morris sets up the first Department of Basic and Applied Research at Richmond (outside New York) under Director Dr Robert DuPuis. It provides a consulting service to all operating departments of the company, and checks all material used in manufacturing. It lists all the main group leaders: Robert Seligman and Frank Resnik are the two most notable. [3]

1971 Robert Seligman is Director of Commercial Development.

1974 Oct 1 -13A note about Joint British-American Tobacco (BAT), Philip Morris (PM) and Imperial Tobacco Ltd (ITL) meetings in Europe. [Reported by "BAT Research Scientist (DGI) "Geoff" Felton to S James Green (Head of BAT science). Such meetings were obviously held by tobacco scientists to keep each other up-to-date on developments.)

[TSO = Thomas S Osdene, then Head of Science at Philip Morris in USA]
[TRC = Tobacco Research Council in the UK. The British equivalent of the US CTR]
[Rylander = Ragnar Rylander a scandinavian corrupt scientist/lobbyist from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. Francis JC Roe is much the same in Britain. Their presence can only mean they are plotting illicit activities.]
  • Philip Morris, the Tobacco Institute and the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) had already run a psycho-pharmacological conference two years before in St Martens, French-Netherlands Antilles.
  • They were planning a second on same subject (possibly in Mexico City) and wanted BAT to co-sponsor (total cost $56,000)
  • Philip Morris was unlikely to join the TRC because of its introduction fee of £125,000
  • They were holding a Joint Philip Morris/Imperial Tobacco meeting on 10 - 13th October in Switzerland. [Tom Osdene] TSO said that Philip Morris would be represented by Helmut Wakeham, Thomas Osdene, Robert Seligman, Ragnar Rylander (Sci. Adviser) and Alex Holtzman (lawyer).

ITL's main representative would be their Research & Development Director Dr Herbert Bentley (arriving a day late), Burgan, Chesterfield, FJC Roe (Sci. Adviser) and ? [another unknown].
Philip Morris didn't know the purpose of the meeting. They believe they are being used by Bentley in some obscure way.
TSO (Osdene) agreed with a suggestion that the Bermuda meeting had been a sounding board for the Hunter Presentation by ITL. In his correspondence, Bentley had been obscure and had antagonised Wakeham by always leaving it to his secretary to sign the letter. It was possible that ITL feared the introduction of US-type cigarettes into the UK and wished to monitor Philip Morris' intentions. [4]

[The Bermuda meeting between PM and ITL had been an exchange of information about laboratory research and especially the techniques of mouse skin painting to check for cancer potential. Both Ragnar Rylander and Francis Roe had been included in this secret meeting along with the company scientists.[5]

1974 Oct 22 Seligman's report of the ITL meeting. They were planning to introduce a cigarette with New Smoking Materials (NSM) and they were concerned with the British Hunter Committee, which was exercising oversight on the type of additives, synthetics and substitutes which could be used in cigarettes. [6] Also some followup material [7]

1977 March 31 Haussermann was at the head of PME R&D in Neuchatel. However Helmut Gaish at S&T FTR has suggested in a letter to subordinates, that, if they need pesticide residue analysis, they send the samples directly to INBIFO. Robert Seligman in New York objects:

This suggested procedure is in direct conflict with our communications from the New York Office, We have gone to great pains to eliminate any written contact with INBIFO, and I would like to maintain this structure.

Seligman was advising his executives and scientists to send any sample to PME in Neuchatel, and they should then trans-ship them to INBIFO. Alternately they could consider setting up a "dummy" mailing address in Koln. The analytical data will need to be routed back through FTR also.

He was also returning his copies of Gaisch's letter to scrub his files, and he suggested to Hausermann that they do the same. [8]

<tdo>resource_id=2087 resource_code=seligman_robert_b search_term=Robert B. Seligman</tdo>

Documents & Timeline