AMA Education & Research Foundation

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The American Medical Association allowed itself to be conned by the Tobacco Industry into a scam known as AMA-ERF They were gullible enough to believe that they could take the tobacco industry's money to run an Education and Research program into smoking and health, and not be compromised in any way.

The idea appears to have come from Rosser Reeves who ran a strategy company known as the Tiderock Corporation. Among the cancer groups:

It is not known whether this resulted from an overblown ego, or from terminal gullibility.

Documents & Timeline

1968 June 27 William Kloepfer of the Tobacco Institute has written to Rosser Reeves at the strategy company Tiderock Corp. This was about the collaboration between the tobacco industry and the AMA (known as AMA Education & Research Foundation or AMA-ERF). Tiderock appears to have been the one who proposed the idea of funding an AMA research program back in June, at a joint tobacco company meeting.

  • Kloepfer and Reeves had met earlier this month to discuss the AMA-ERF and Tiderock had been commissioned for two activities.

1. The TI has decided that both a position paper and the advertising project are still needed. "However events in San Francisco last week have reduced the urgency of publication." This was concerning a release by the AMA-ERF of a report on joint research due on June 19.

  • Daniel Horn of the American Cancer Society has been urging the AMA to withdraw the report.
  • Leonard Schuman and Stanhope Baynes-Jones (both ex-Sur-Gen Advisory Committee members) agreed with Horn and were to take their objections to the trustees of the AMA.
  • Kenneth Endicott (Director of the NCI) and Senator Clements (President of the TI) were proponents of the joint research idea. The Tobacco Institute saw the collaboration as defusing attacks on tobacco from HEW ... "It's a new ball game."

2. The Tobacco Institute wanted to have the ads and position paper cleared by their lawyers Shook Hardy & Bacon and ready for release.

Participants in the San Francisco meeting were:

AMA-ERF Committee as of June 1968 [2]
Tobacco Industry representatives -- Committee of Counsel
Earle C Clements Tobacco Institute President Executive-Director/lobbyist
Philip Grant Lorillard CorpInhouse legal counsel
Frederick P HaasLiggett & Myers General counsel
Cyril Hetsko American TobaccoInhouse legal counsel
H Henry Ramm RJ ReynoldsVP and General Counsel
Paul D Smith Philip MorrisGeneral Counsel
Addison YeamansBrown & Wlliamson General Counsel
Tobacco Research Council/CTR
Richard J Bing MDWayne State Uni CTR & AMA/ERF (cardiologist)
McKeen Cattell MDCornell University CTR (pharmacologist)
Leon O Jacobson MDUniversity of Chicago Chrm of the CTR SAB. physician
Clarence C Little ScD TIRC and CTRScientific Director
Sheldon Sommers MD Columbia UniversityCTR (next Scientific Dir.) pathologist
National Institute of Health
Francis R Abinant National Inst of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
Carl G Baker MD National Cancer InstituteDir. of Etiology
Kenneth Endicott MD National Cancer Institute Director Lung Cancer Task Force
Paul Kotin MD Nat. Environmental Health Science Center of HEW (ex-TIRC SAB)/Lung Cancer Task Force
Gardiner C McMillan MD National Heart Institituteex-Tobacco Working Group of NCI
Ian A Mitchell MD National Cancer Institute
The AMA's Education Research Foundation (ERF) Committee
Robert J Hasterlik MD Uni of Chicago Prof. Medicine
John B Hickam MD Indiana Uni Prof. Medicine. Member SGAC
Paul S Larson PhD Med. College of VirginiaChairman AMA-ERF
Maurice H Seevers MD Uni of MichiganProf Pharmacology.Member SGAC
Ira Singer PhD Am. Medical Assn Sec of AMA committee.
SGAC=Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking & Health
SAB=Scientific Advisory Board.[3]