George L. Carlo

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George L. Carlo is a Buffalo (NY) born epidemiologist who set up as a science-for-sale entrepreneur in the early days of the Agent-Orange/dioxin problems. At that time he worked both for the Dow Chemical Company in their "flying circus" of experts who were toured around the USA to tell citizens that there was no need to worry ... dioxins were relatively benign... and also for the Chlorine Chemical Council, a subsidiary of the Chemical Manufacturers Association, the descendant of the Manufacturing Chemists Association that attacked Rachel Carson in 1962. [1]

He established a scientific lobbying firm George Carlo & Associates in Washington DC, and hired Maurice Le Vois from California as his west-coast research director. Not long after Carlo and Le Vois jointly established Health and Environmental Sciences (HES) which had both east and west-coast operations. Carlo ran HES-East out of Washington DC, and Le Vois HES-West out of San Francisco.

They then approached Philip Morris with an offer to run a scam project in support of the tobacco industry to prove scientists were biased -- this involved both a phone-survey of doctors and some academics:

  1. ) The idea was that these experts were to be questioned in a heavily-loaded way, guaranteed to show they thought passive smoking was likely to be harmful. According to these tobacco-loaded research protocol, this then establishing that these doctors and academics were "biased" against smoking, and were therefore not acting scientifically and couldn't be trusted to act in society's best interests over questions of tobacco safety.
  2. ) These pre-determine finding were then to be promoted to the general media as evidence of a general medical "bias" against smoking, further proof that scientists were not dispassionate and couldn't be trusted. [2] [3]

This was, in fact, the precursor to the tobacco industry's later anti-science movement which involved a public attack on "junk-science" (any science not to their liking) and claims about the unreliability of science in general. This eventually encompassed denials about chemical/pesticide harms, and the tobacco, chemical and energy industries' heavy funding of climate denial.

The initial 'Bias study' research was eventually done by the Health and Environmental Sciences Group (HESG), which sounded impressive. In fact it was only a handful of local Carlo staff recruits operating out of a brownstone house owned by Carlo in Washington DC. [4] Le Vois appears to have split with Carlo and established a new relationship with Maxwell Layard

Carlo associates and organisations
George Carlo (Doc Index)
Wireless Technology Research
Health and Environmental Sciences Group

Auchter & Tozzi

Carlo and Ian Munro from the Canadian firm CanTox also became involved in providing a science-scepticism barrier for the Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA) when concerns emerged about the safety of the pulsed-power GSM/D-AMPS digital cellular mobile phones. Carlo took Thorne G. Auchter (ex Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) into his organization as a silent partner (and possibly also James J. Tozzi (ex head of the OIRA at the Reagan White House). These three were close friends and worked closely together as lobbyists and science-corrupters for the cellphone and tobacco industries for many years. One of the astroturfs run by Tozzi and Auchter, the Institute for Regulatory Policy, was supposedly the funder, controller and publisher of the Philip Morris/Carlo bias study.

Carlo also acted as a recruiter for the tobacco industry's Whitecoats [5], and was a key organiser with Tozzi and Auchter in the attempt by the tobacco industry to take control of the standards used in epidemiology by the regulatory agencies (known as GEP -- Good Epidemiology Practices) [6]. This was done through a so-called London Conference [7] of experts, which was heavily loaded with the tobacco industry's scientific 'friends' to pre-determine the outcome. This pseudo-conference resulted in the London Principles which the tobacco industry then touted to politicians as guidelines for the regulation of toxic substances.

Carlo appears to have been paid either $15,000 or $25,000 for his involvement in this project, while Tozzi received $70,000. [8] On top of this, Federal Focus, Inc. a camouflage-corporation run by Tozzi and Auchter (with Carlo involved, if not a silent partner) also received a "Federal Grant In Aid" from Philip Morris for $300,000. [9]

When the EPA was making its assessment that Environmental Tobacco Smoke was a carcinogenic risk to health, Carlo also provided the industry with some credible denial. As an old reliable science-for-sale entrepreneur Carlo wrote a op-ed piece for them and act as an independent spokesman in a planned attack on the EPA's reformed Scientific Advisory Board. [10]

TASSC and Steve Milloy

In 1993 Philip Morris set up a 'junk-science' organisation known as The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC) which originally had ex-Governor of New Mexico, Garrey Carruthers as its head spokesman, but he turned out to be ineffective. This was done through APCO & Associates which was a private PR company at that time controlled by the tobacco company.

Steven J Milloy, a professional lobbyist (EOP Group) had been hired to do the back-room work, but was then brought to the front and proved to be ideal for their purpose. He became the face of 'junk-science' on a global scale (via ion-line forums and Fox News) since the early internet was now able to distribute this 'anti-establishment' message around the world. For a few years Milloy became the popular arbiter of what was "sound science" and what was "junk science" -- and many of his followers were convinced that he was a genuine scientist, pricking the balloons of pomposity among scientists, in areas they didn't understand (mainly health and environmental science).

Other industries were brought in to help maintain TASSC's funding, and George Carlo was hired to lead an Advisory Board. Auchter and Tozzi also became involved. The advice they offered, was in how to disparage legitimate scientific findings which were against the economically interests of their funding corporations.

Wireless Technology Research

In 1993 when the public began to become concerned as to whether cellular phones were a health risk, Carlo was selected by the Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA) on the advice of Ketchum Public Relations to run a quick-and-dirty Scientific Advisory Board, which, after spending less than $1 million and a few days of meetings, gave cellphones the all-clear. The US Congress considered this a whitewash, and told the CTIA to get real and fund some substantial research into the possible biological impact of cellphones on human health. Initially they did so with a $25 million budget.

The concerns were about the first of the digital cellphones which used a highly dubious, extremely electrically interfering, transmission technique called GSM (Groupe Speciale Mobile) in Europe, and D-AMPS (Digital AMPS) in the Americas. These mobile digital phones emitted pulsed power in burst which were eventually shown to be bioactive. When held close to the head, such phones posed a health risk (never proved or disproved).

Eventually the cellphone industry in the USA hired George Carlo to create a company called Wireless Technology Research (WTR) which was housed in the same brownstone as his HESG. It was to fund research for three years, but managed to spend most of the money on completely useless research. As a result, well into the 3 year time span, the editor of the journal "Microwave News" (Louis Slesin) wrote that "Carlo had spent $17 million without ever getting a test-tube wet." [11]

The May/June 2003 issue of Microwave News, reviewed the progress of the WTR:

“George Carlo’s Wireless Technology Research (WTR) had run a confidence game on behalf of the mobile phone companies... Carlo and the industry he represented never wanted to do any actual research... WTR’s $25-million research budget was by far the largest pot of money ever earmarked for RF research. It was squandered. The public is a loser because Carlo brought us no closer to understanding the health risks from cell phone radiation... For close to a decade, its members were denied the chance to do the promised research. Carlo’s strategy was clever and effective. By dangling a huge amount of money in front of the cash-starved RF community, Carlo guaranteed silent obedience. Anyone who dared complain risked being cut off from his millions. There was the added benefit that scientists were discouraged from helping lawyers who were thinking about suing cell phone companies. WTR’s bank account is now empty”

Carlo went back to the CTIA and they put a couple more million into the WTR operation, mainly because the media had now turned against them.

Other projects

Carlo's Health and Environmental Science Group operation had grown with input and administration from Ian Munro who also had his own similar scam operation, Cantox in Canada, and also Martha Embrey who was his top assistant at HESG. While Carlo was involved in the WTR operations, Embrey was running a number of smaller operations for other companies and industries. The main one was a Breast Implant Public Health Project for Dow Corning to prove that the silicone breast implants were safe, even if they ruptured in the body.

There are obviously also a large number of smaller research operations that we don't know about. Carlo had built up a moderate size staff and pseudo-research facilities, so he needed to keep them employed. The Breast Implant paper shows that his reach was even wider: it says:

The Breast Implant Public Health Project provided financial support for this study through a grant from the Dow Corning Corporation. We wish to express our thanks to Liz Adams, Barbara Blasick, Julie Downs, and Susan Houston for their help with the conduct of this research, as well as to anonymous reviewers. The views expressed are those of the authors.
For further information, please address communications to Martha Embrey, MPH, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, 2300 K St, NW, Washington, DC 20037,


Carlo broke with the Cellular Telephone Industry Association after the money finally ran out (they eventually funded him to the tune of $27.5 million). His demand for further funding fell on deaf ears, and the dispute also led to an acrimonious exchange as a consequence of Carlo's disputed divorce settlement when the CTIA refused to make WTR accounts available to his lawyers. They became implacable enemies.

At this late stage Carlo had a Damascian conversion, and overnight he became an enemy of the cellphone industry, charging that the CTIA was responsible for covering up some of the scientific findings uncovered by WTR funding, which he says had showed cellphones were dangerous. He never specified exactly what research funded by WTR and shown these dangers, but he was effective with the media and got his message across.

  • He now hitched up for a while with Peter Angelos the wealthy product liability lawyer who was keen on suing the mobile phone companies on behalf of clients who had brain cancer -- but that project collapsed because the scientific links could never be convincingly demonstrated.
  • He wrote a book with science journalist Martin Schram, which was noticeable more for what it avoided discussing than what it revealed. (Cellphones: invisible Hazard in the Wireless Age)
  • He joined forces with one of the fake 'bio-shield" companies {BioPro]] to promote a completely useless stick-on device to protect yourself from "harmful cellphone radiations". This arrangement also collapsed acrimoniously. [12]
  • He then ran what amounted to a training institution, to teach people how to make money out of cellphone and similar fears. [13]

He also appears to spend some of his time writing and re-writing puff-pieces about himself for Wikipedia. [14]

Carlo is still active in late 2018. He managed to persuade two journalists who wrote for The Guardian and The Nation, that he was one of the initiators of the change of cellphone radiation standards from the pulse-power GSM/TDMA standard to the much safer, better, and more capacious CDMA ... when, in fact, he was one of the leaders opposing this change. [15] [16]

: [Note: Don't assume from the above that cellphone radiation is likely to harm your health. The concern was simply that the electronics companies did no biomedical testing before putting these early high-power TDMA phones on sale in their millions. There was never any proven science which established harm. (although a couple of top independent researchers were seriously concerned at higher rates of DNA breaks in exposed animals.) 
The transmission standards of modern cellular phones bears little resemblance to the pulsed-power GSM/D-AMPS phones; they transmit in a steady 'spread-spectrum' fashion at much lower output powers. ]

Other Links

See good overview [17]