Bio-Research Institute

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

Bio-Research Institute (Conducted studies for Council for Tobacco Research): Conducted study for Council for Tobacco Research on hamsters exposed to tobacco smoke, finding that it produced malignant tumors.


The abbreviation for Bio-Research Institute is BRI. BRI is located in Cambridge, MA. BRI conducted a study for the Council for Tobacco Research. When Syrian hamsters were exposed to smoke twice a day for 59 to 80 weeks, 40% of those of a cancer-susceptible strain and 4% of a resistant strain developed malignant tumors. Before publishing the study in 1974, BRI's founder, Freddy Homburger, sent a manuscript to Robert Hockett, then Scientific Director of the Council for Tobacco Research. Dr. Homburger says he had to do so because halfway through his study, the Council for Tobacco Research had changed it from a grant to a contract "so they could control publication--they were quite open about that." Soon thereafter, Dr. Hockett and Council for Tobacco Research lawyer, Edwin Jacob went to Dr. Homburger's summer house in Maine. Hockett and Jacob did not want BRI to call anything "cancer," they wanted it to be "pseudo-epitheliomatous hyperplasia," a euphemism for lesions preceding cancer. Homberger said no, this is not right, it is cancer. Jacob told Homberger that BRI would never get a penny more if the paper was published without the changes. At the last minute Homberger changed the final proofs to read "micoinvasive" cancer, a microscopic malignancy. Nevertheless, BRI was never funded by Council for Tobacco Research again. (WSJ 2/11/93).

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