Gio Batta Gori

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

Dr. Gio Batta Gori was a tobacco industry consultant, formerly with the National Cancer Institute. Gori believed a safer cigarette could be made, and that there were safe threshold levels for exposure to the chemicals in cigarette smoke.

He had a doctorate in biological sciences and a masters degree in public health. He was a former scientist and top official at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where he specialized in toxicology, epidemiology and nutrition.

He held several positions at NCI between 1968 and 1980 including Deputy Director, Division of Cancer Causes and Prevention, Acting Associate Director, Carcinogenesis Program, Director of the Diet, Nutrition and Cancer Program, and Director of the Smoking and Health Program ... the so-called Tobacco Working Group (TWG). This was indulged by the tobacco industry because they needed to be seen as working towards a safe (or at least 'safer') cigarette -- and Gori had a matching inflated ego, believing that he alone could produce one. [1]

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

Gori & the Tobacco Industry

Gori became so entwined with the tobacco industry and so dependent on their funding that eventually the NCI decided that they had to cut him and the Tobacco Working Group loose. When Gori left the NCI in 1980 he began traded on his professional credibility and his experience with the TWG by aligned himself with tobacco industry interests -- not just in biomedical research -- and reaped significant financial rewards in the coming years by serving those interests.

In 1980 Gori became Vice President of the Franklin Institute Policy Analysis Center (FIPAC), a consulting firm funded initially by a $400,000 grant from the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation (B&W). [2] Following its initial formation, FIPAC continued to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding annually from B&W. [3][4]. [5] Gori worked on Research & Development projects for B&W, such as analysis of the sensory perception of smoke and how to reduce the amount of tobacco in cigarettes. By 1989, Gori was a full time consultant on environmental tobacco smoke issues for the Tobacco Institute in the Institute's ETS/IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Consultants Project. [6] In May 1993, Gori entered an exclusive consulting arrangement with B&W, reaping pay at the rate of $200/hour a day to $1,000/day for attending conferences. [7]

Activities in which Gori engaged on behalf of the tobacco industry included attending conferences, writing and publishing books, letters and papers, and lobbying.

The RICO Case against Tobacco.

1999 Sep to 2005 Sep: The USA's DC District Court issued its Amended Final Opinion in the Racketeering Influences and Corrupt Organisation (RICO) case against the US tobacco companies. This 2000 page document includes:
  • 155. A May 1, 1972 memorandum from Fred Panzer, a public relations specialist with the Tobacco Institute, to Tobacco Institute President Horace Kornegay began by describing past industry action:
      For nearly twenty years, this industry has employed a single strategy to defend itself ... it has always been a holding strategy, consisting of creating doubt about the health charge without actually denying it … advocating the public’s right to smoke without actually urging them to take up the practice ... encouraging objective scientific research as the only way to resolve the question of health hazard.
    Panzer went on to discuss a proposed public relations campaign -- The Roper Proposal -- designed to persuade the public that
      "cigarette smoking may not be the health hazard that the anti-smoking people say it is because other alternatives are at least as probable" (emphasis omitted).
    The proposed campaign would suggest two such possible alternatives:
    (1) the constitutional hypothesis, i.e., smokers differ importantly from nonsmokers in terms of heredity, constitutional makeup, lifestyle, and stress; and
    (2) the multi-factorial hypothesis, i.e., other factors such as air pollution, viruses, food additives, and occupational hazards contribute to diseases for which smoking is considered a cause.


  • Gio Batta Gori, Virtually Safe Cigarettes: Reviving an Opportunity Once Tragically Rejected, Ios Pr Inc, January 2000. ISBN 1586030574 ISBN 978-1586030575

Other SourceWatch Resources

External Resources

Articles By Gori

  • G.B. Gori, "Easy target: who really profits from "shaking down" the tobacco industry? Not likely tobacco consumers", Tobacco Reporter: 34, March 1997. Opinion piece written by Dr. Gio Batta Gori in which he contends that it is time to revisit the theory that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. Attempts cast doubt upon the scientific conclusions about the health hazards posed by secondhand smoke; scoffs at the idea that nicotine is highly addictive.
  • G.B. Gori and John Luik, Passive smoke: the EPA's betrayal of science and policy, Vancouver: The Fraser Institute (Canada), 1999. ISBN 088975196X This 118-page book published by Canada's Fraser Institute and written by Health Policy Center founder Gio Batta Gori and discredited Niagara Institute philosopher and ethics professor John Luik claims the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used "junk science" to distort the health effects of secondhand smoke.
  • Gio Batta Gori, "Less Hazardous Smokes?", Regulation, Cato Institute, December 1, 2002.

General Articles

  • The Tobacco Industry's Latest Attack on the Science of Secondhand Smoke 1999, Americans for Nonsmokers Rights
  • D. Hanners, "Scientists were paid to write letters: tobacco industry sought to discredit EPA report", St. Paul (Minneapolis) Pioneer Press, August 4, 1998. Lists "Dr. Gio Batta Gori, former top official at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)" as one of 13 scientists to whom the tobacco industry paid thousands of dollars to write letters to prominent publications casting doubt on the science of secondhand smoke.
  • Anne Landman, Stanton Glantz Tobacco Industry Efforts to Undermine Policy-Relevant Research American Journal of Public Health January 2009, Volume 99, No. 1, Pp. 45-58

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