Franklin Institute

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

The Franklin Institute was a pro-industry think-tank and tobacco industry money-laundering institute which took in Dr Gio Batta Gori when the industry couldn't find a university post for him. The Institute was well-funded to house scientists working for tobacco. It is one of a long chain of Libertarian think-tanks stretching around the world which form the Atlas Network.

One part of the Franklin Institute is sometimes known by the abbreviation FIPAC (Franklin Institute, Policy Analyst Center). When the National Cancer Institute closed down the Tobacco Working Group and let Gio Batta Gori resign, he worked for a time with the Franklin Institute's, Policy Analyst Center before setting up his own operation, the Health Policy Center.

Gori appears to have always believed he was capable o making his fortune by discovering and removing the toxicant in tobacco that caused lung-cancer and/or heart disease. He was therefore both a legitimate scientists (but not recognised by the industry as especially bright) and also a money-hungry lobbyist who promoted the industry in order to attract grants.

Gio Batta Gori
Gio Gori (Doc Index)
Tobacco Working Group (TWG)
Franklin Institute
Policy Analyst Center (FIPAC)
Health Policy Center

Documents & Timeline

1977 The secret Special Account No.4 Report of the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR).

The following represent present and known future commitments of Special Account No 4.

  • In the near future, it is anticipated that approval will be

    sought for research proposals from Dr Hans Weil and Jones in [Tulane Uni] New Orleans, relating to public smoking in workplaces, and from Dr Roger Bick in Los Angeles, relating to certain aspects of Becker's work and various blood factors. It seems that either or both of these may be suitable as a CTR special project.

  • Approval will be sought very shortly for a special project at the Franklin Institute, to make TGP (tobacco glycoprotein). This material is necessary to do research in connection with the reports of Dr [Carl] Becker, who has claimed that this material contains a tobacco smoke allergen. The Franklin Institute project, which will cost about $50,000, has been developed with the consulting assistance of Dr Stedman, who is the retired Department of Agriculture's tobacco chemist on whose work Becker relied.
    Dr . Stedman's consulting expenses in 1978 should be approximately $5,000.


1978 Feb 9 William Shinn of Shook Hardy & Bacon is advising the company lawyer-members of the Committee of Counsel

Some of you have asked for additional, information concerning funding through Special Account No: 4. This account is administered by Jacob & Medinger and Ed Jacob and I have reviewed the enclosed report.

I also enclose a memorandum with regard to funding of projects and would appreciate your advice if you find this to be incorrect in any way. There is probably no need for you to retain these notes once you have satisfied yourself of the current situation.

[This a clear instruction to the company lawyers that they should shred the document after reading it.]
Material REDACTED from some versions We may want to discuss research in a larger context. i.e., what are the industry's present needs? This, of course involves consideration of the
  • role of institutional type projects (tobacco, e.g. Harvard [Huber], and non-tobacco, e.g. Washington University [St Louis]);
  • the role of CTR; and
  • the need for special areas of research with due regard for the politics of science,
  • the importance of developing witnesses
  • and the need for a responsive mechanism to meet unfounded claims made about tobacco.

Special Account No 4: (known and future commitments)

    Approval will be sought very shortly for a special project at the Franklin Institute, to make TGP (a so-called tobacco glyco-protein). This material is necessary to do research (in connection with the reports of Dr. Carl Becker, who has claimed that this material contains a tobacco smoke allergen. The Franklin Institute project, which will cost about $50,000, has been developed with the consulting assistance of Dr Russell Stedman who is the retired Department of Agriculture's tobacco chemist on whose work Becker relied. Dr. Stedman's consulting expenses in 1978 should be approximately $5,000. Dr. Edwin Fisher -- He testified at the New Jersey Public Health Council hearing on October 20, 1977. The expense related to his appearance is $750. Dr Fisher is presently planning to do some additional research pertinent to the public smoking question which will commence when TGP has been made available to him , and which should cost about $2,000 in 1978.

[3] Letter unredacted (but no list) [[4]]

1978 Apr 30 Confidential report on CTR Special Projects to the Committee of Counsel lists them as:

Franklin Institute: Isolate 5 gm of tobacco glycoprotein from tobacco smoke condensate and tobacco leaf
Period: over four months
Approved: Letter of Acceptance from CTR dated 4-7-78 -- Budget: $51,650

1979 BATCO funds "National Public Health Program" from 1979 to 83 (Gori already working with them) 1006.01 page 32

1979 Sep 17 Wilson Wyatt is being asked by Ernie Pepples to comment on a draft company speech (by a B&W executive). One section says:

This is not to say that researchers funded by our industry do not make claims from time to time that their research proves smoking to be hazardous in one way or another. A recent example of this is Dr. Carl Becker at Cornell Medical School, who claims to have isolated a glycoprotein from tobacco smoke which accounts for cardiovascular disease in smokers and nonsmokers.

Whan this type of thing occurs, we ask our consultants in the scientific and legal professions to analyze and investigate the claim. Some times the claim is the result of faulty experimental design. Other times, additional research is required.

This occurred in the Becker case where we funded studies by Dr. Russell Stedman — formerly with the United States Department of Agriculture — at the Franklin Institute. Dr. Stedman has now established that Becker's material contained a substantial artifact. [6]

1980 Feb 22 Franklin Institute Project/ Dr Roger Bick is charging $200 per hour and ripping them off. See other Special Project #4 stuff - 95522460

1982 May 28 had contracts for Int, Cancer Research Data Bank - totalled $4.9 m over 3 years HK0716210

1983 Mar Cornelius J Lynch -- ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE WORKSHOPS 1983-1984 TI01071831/1855 - Appears to be a follow up to McGill -- Participant at Rylander's workshop in Uni of Geneva

1988 TI Public Affairs Plan

Commission a review article by some scientific think tank such as the Franklin Institute that would demonstrate that (a) tobacco is not unique as an alleged health hazard and (b) list the great numbers of citations in the literature of other generic products and practices that could easily share the same status. Seek publication in Science or similar professional journal. [7]

1992 Dec 31 Russell Stedman and Leonard A Lee Special Account $4 No: 97 The Council for Tobacco Research: Log - Special Projects (Bates) 92613920/3932

1998 Oct 5 Nick Laid of Laird & Associates has sent a status report to Mark D Smith [Corporate Public Relations -- internal lobbyist for RJ Reynolds] He is working on:

  • The distribution and media plans for Dr [John] Luik's book in the US Please call me to discuss. We need to provide Fraser Institute with the number of copies to print for distribution in the US.
  • Dr. Luik is in town today working on his book with Dr Gori. I plan to meet with John later today. He may be able to provide me is a diskette containing the draft manuscript of the book.
  • Dr. Luik will be doing a twenty-station radio talk show tour tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. [His first interview] is with the USA Radio Network that reaches 190 stations [and also] with stations in Boston, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Providence, Greensboro, Memphis, Des Moines, Kentucky News Network (that goes to 98 stations statewide), and others. [Also] a one hour live call-in show on Wisconsin Public Radio that goes to 20 stations in Wisconsin.
  • On September 29, Dr. Luik did the KQRS interview in Minneapolis [which] resulted in a call from a Minneapolis public relations firm about doing a article for a publication.
  • On September 28, Dr. Luik did an interview with WTVN in Columbus, Ohio,