Institute for International Health & Development

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

The Institute for International Health and Development (IIHD) was a pseudo-health organistion established by David A. Morse and Paul G. Dietrich for Philip Morris under the guidence of the Corporate Affairs department under Andrew Whist. Morse and Dietrich used their influence with the Catholic Church (they also ran the Knights of Malta organisation briefly for the Vatican) to have the IIHD nominally housed at the Catholic University in Washington DC. (Dietrich was on the board)

The IIHD was passed over to the full-time control of Paul and his wife Laura Jordan Dietrich in November 1988 when David Morse's health began to fail (he dies the following year). They extended the value of the operation to the tobacco industry (and to other industries and the Republican Party) by publishing a 40-odd page "International Health & Development" magazine which was nominally sold for $24 pa, but actually given away to politicians, journalists and editors who were likely to be influenced by the propaganda. [1] Elizabeth Kristol lent her name to the operation as Publisher and Executive Director, and Graciela D Testa, supposedly became editor. Testa and Ronald D Utt (an occasional writer for the IIHD) were from the National Chamber Foundation (NCF) and the closely-associated National Federation of Independent Buisness (NFIB) both of which worked for and with the Tobacco institute. [2]

Andrew Whist and Andrew Whist's deposition
New York Society for International Affairs
American-European Community Association
Institute for International Health & Development
Hungarian-American Chamber of Commerce
Spain-US Chamber of Commerce Inc
US-Spain Council

The IIHD was only one of a number of fake international organisations that Andrew Whist created and Dietrich operated and used to promote tobacco interests:

  • some like the IIHD were designed to exert influence in the World Health Organisation, and to give Dietrich and Morse some standing as a pseudo-NGO to lobby health ministers of various countries.
  • some, like Libertad were to influence the media (Paul Dietrich is often listed as a member)
  • and some, like the New York Society for International Affairs and American-European Community Association were designed to launder payments to politicians and fund junkets around the world.
    These were all, in fact, memberless organisations which Whist was later forced to admit in court existed only as files in his New York apartment.

The semi-faux IIHD organisation was put to use by Philip Morris as the nominal organisers of the first McGill Conference which was held at McGill University, Montreal, in 1989, partly to create some credentials for newly recruited Whitecoats in Asia. It was totally funded and controlled by Andrew Whist's Corporate Affairs division of the tobacco company. [3] Initially, every participant and every speaker at the Symposium was in the employ, or receiving special payments, from Philip Morris.[4] but scientists from other tobacco companies were admitted at the last moment in an attempt to use the occasion for joint-company collaboration. [5]

The IIHD nominally were the publishers of the McGill University ETS Symposium proceedings as a booklet. It was designed to be used as a university course text-book, and Paul Dietrich sold copies of it to other tobacco companies for translation and distribution in other parts of the world. This became a source of conflict at a later date when he began to charge British-American Tobacco's Sharon Boyse too much for his services.

The IIHD had no permanent Washington staff (other than Paul Dietrich and his wife). However it had a Geneva accommodation address (probably just an apartment-office at this time), which, when coupled with the official-sounding name gave the organisation the appearance of solid United Nations accreditation. At this time Philip Morris and Dietrich were dealing with Warren W Furth (a top WHO administrator), who had agreed to move over to establish a Surrey & Morse legal office in Geneva for the industry -- a base from which to attack the WHO.

in 1989 Andrew Whist was deposed by the plaintiff lawyers in the Oklahoma case, and he revealed that the IIHD was actually now fully under his own control. Apparently there had been a falling out between Philip Morris and Paul Dietrich also (he fell out over money with Sharon Boyse of British-American Tobacco also).

The International Health & Development magazine

The lack of substance with the IIHD was a problem which was made to appear concrete by the employment of a small part-time editorial staff and the production of the quarterly IHD magazine, sent free to health officials around the world. The magazine was nominally published by writer Elizabeth Kristol (the Kristols are a neo-con/media Jewish family), but Laura Jordan Dietrich ran the operation when Paul was away.

This was a quarterly glossy magazine full of pro-smoking articles and anti-WHO diatribes, some written by science-writer, Susan U Raymond others by Paul Dietrich himself. Raymond later became director of policy programs at the New York Academy of Sciences and senior adviser to the US Agency for International Development. She was later the managing director of Changing Our World Inc in New York city, and also affiliated with Columbia University's Center for Global Health and Economic Development ... which sounds suspiciously like a born-again IIHD except that it "partners with the WHO".

Philip Morris funded the IIHD operation to the tune of $240,000 per year [6] and British-American Tobacco (BAT) probably contributed as much again [7]. The IIHD provided the industry with control over what pretended to be an 'independent' medical research organisation which it could then use to run pro-smoking 'economics and health' conferences and published 'contrary opinions' to those being promoted by WHO. [8]

Spring O'Brien [9] was a favourite consultancy for the tobacco industry and Murdoch's Sunday Telegraph and other News Ltd. newspapers carried many of the stories that the IIHD generated [10], certainly at a rate much higher than you'd normally expect.

Philip Morris used the IIHD fairly blatantly to publish the proceedings of tame tobacco scientists, and to distribute political newsletters, and act as an industry front for conferences, etc. Geoff Bible's [Boca Raton Action Plan] for 1989 shows how effective the organisation was. (See pages 1 and 5 [11])

McGill University ETS Conference

Philip Morris's infamous McGill University ETS Symposium -- a faux-conference on passive smoking -- was held on November 3-4 1989 in Montreal. It was actually a training program for Asian academics who had been newly recruited by lawyers under the Whitecoats program, to oppose all attempts at limiting advertising or public smoking in their own countries.

This was a 'closed conference' by-invitation-only, and many of those involved were old hands at the 'science-for-sale' business. The others were newly recruited 'scientific experts' who were being indoctrinated with the techniques needed for discounting fears of passive smoke and workplace pollution in their own countries. [12] At the McGill conference, they were taught what to say, and how to act in defending smoking without revealing their affiliations with the industry. [13]

The IIHD published the proceedings of this conference for Philip Morris and lent its name as ghost-sponsor, providing the new recruits with some published research credentials -- enough to convince gullible journalists that they knew what they were talking about. The booklet was printed in large numbers and Paul Dietrich made it available as a university textbook in Indoor Air Quality studies.

Export market development

The pseudo-organisation also became important for the US tobacco industry's export drive into Asia, Africa and the Middle East because of the international contacts it was able to develop through Morse and the Dietrichs [14]. After his term as Secretary-General of the ILO, Morse's ex-Deputy Francis Blanchard was also introduced into the IIHD briefly. [15] However, for most of the time the IIHD was run by tobacco lobbyist Paul Dietrich and his wife Laura Jordan Dietrich who were its only two employees.

Morse became involved more in direct lobbying in Europe, and Blanchard appears to have been semi-retired and provided little more than a political front for many of its major projects. David Morse died of heart disease on December 1 1990.