Tobacco and Pharmaceutical Bungs

The attached appeared in today's WDDTY broadcast..

Has anyone summarised the complete financial story on mobile phones? Namely the sums paid for what and over how long? Also who gets paid what by the mobile phone companies? If we know the story for other counties that will also help.

We possibly need to analyse the Mobile Phone Companies annual reports to unravel their public statements - does it all add up?

Please send anything useful.


EXPERT OPINION: He who pays the piper. . .

We live in the age of the expert, and it is him to whom we turn when we need to understand complex issues. The wise observer, however, treats the explanations of the expert with caution, and rightly so. This is because there is rarely such a thing as an independent expert, whether he is from the world of science, politics or medicine. Too often these hard-up academics are prepared to put their name to anything, provided there's a decent cash inducement involved. This peculiarly 'scientific' practice of the double-blind backhander has been exercised to the full by the tobacco industry, according to recent reports. In 1991 the budget for experts' backhanders totalled $3.3m (£1.9m), and for that the scientists were to argue that there was no health risk from secondary smoke. Tobacco industry lawyers were set the task of finding 'experts' prepared to publish research that 'proved' secondhand smoke was not dangerous, and any problems associated with it could be remedied by good ventilation. Needless to say, plenty of 'experts' came out of the woodwork, who were more than happy to make the claim, even though it is clearly nonsense. Once the papers had been published, the tobacco industry was free to point out these 'independent' findings to government and health officials, who would be suitably impressed not to introduce regulations on secondhand smoke. Operation Backhander began in 1987 and was in full swing two years later, by which time it had recruited consultants from the UK, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Finland and Sweden. It also reached Asia, where every member of an organizing committee of a conference on indoor air quality was a tobacco industry 'consultant'. Researchers can find no evidence to suggest that the operation has been ended, so the next time you hear an 'expert' spouting forth, treat his comments with the greatest caution. You don't know where he's been paid. (Source: European Journal of Public Health, 2006; 16: 69-77).

* GUESS WHAT? The tobacco industry isn't alone in paying for 'independent' experts. The drugs industry has been doing it for years, and oftentimes the expert can't even be bothered to read the paper that he has supposedly written. All the dirty deeds of the drugs industry are uncovered in the WDDTY book, Secrets of the Drugs Industry. To order your copy, click here:



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