ILSI & Tox.Forum (Doc Index)

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This stub is a work-in-progress by the journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to


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

The International Life Sciences Institute and its slightly older relative the Toxicology Forum engaged in many mergers and absorptions of other related organisations to create a complex interconnecting web of science-based associations and think-tanks, which were managed in a way that served the various funding industries and companies. Alex Malaspina from Coca Cola, who appears to have masterminded the development of this web, was very clever in maintaining separation between industries which didn't want to be publicly associated with each other -- for instance, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and tobacco.

It is important to realise that the ILSI and the Toxicology Forum had many legitimate scientists as members, and they were accepted as genuine scientific policy and research organisations by the World Health Organisation and other UN agencies, and by the US government and its agencies. They always ran genuine conferences and symposiums, open to others to attend

Toxicology Forum
Society of Toxicology
ILSI & Tox.Forum (Doc Index)
Nutrition Foundation and ILSI-NF
ILSI Risk Sciences Institute
Society for Risk Analysis
American College of Toxicology
Health & Environmental Science Institute
Center for Excellence in Toxicology
Alex Malaspina

The divisions between industries and corporate funders gradually eroded over time, especially with the major tobacco companies taking over the giant food corporations. Philip Morris bought Kraft and General Foods, and they owned Milliers Beer and a number of wine companies. RJ Reynolds Tobacco became RJ Reynolds Nabisco after merging with the biscuit-based company which also owned Del Monte. It also owned fast-food, confectionary, soft drink, canned food and alcohol companies.

The main International Life Sciences Institute subsidiaries and associated entities (often sharing the same address) are:

Other similar ILSI Nutrition organizatons

  • (British) The Nutrition Society (founded Oct 1941)
  • International Union of Nutritional Sciences (now part of Int's Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU))

Documents & Timeline

1933 The Nutrition Foundation Inc. (later merged into ILSI) established a cooperative agreement with the Office of Nutrition, Bureau of Research & Development, US Agency for International Development (AID). The role spelled out in this document is praiseworthy, concentrating on micronutrients and foreign aid. It also discusses cooperations with WHO's Nutrition Unit and PAHO and other United Nations organisations.

This cooperative agreement was still operating in 1993 long after the Nutrition Foundation Inc. had been incorporated int the ILSI to form both the ILSI-NF and the Risk Science Institute. [3]

This long document is note-worth for dealing with the Nutrition Foundation's continued role for 60 years, yet avoiding any mention if its merger with the ILSI. In one paragraph it mentions ILSI as the "secretariat's organisaton".]

1975The Toxicology Forum]] was incorporated as a non-profit - and the "membership represents chemical, drug, food and petroleum industries, research institutes, trade associations, universities and governments." It holds annual US meeting at the Given Institute Aspen in summer and Washington DC in Winter. The Annual European meeting is in Geneva.

About half the board of directors in 1986 were well-known industry lobbyists. [4]

1984 Feb 20-22 Winter Toxicology Forum meeting at L'Enfant Plaza Hotel, Washington DC.


1984 May 2-5 Flavor and Extract Manufacturers' Association (FEMA) held its 75th annual meeting in Florida. Dr J Allen Brent, of the Coca Cola company is president (1983-84) and a Pepsicola VP is a Board member. Alex Malaspina is just a member of the Federal Regulatory Activity Panel. [6]

1984 Sept European Toxicology Forum meeting in Geneva. Listed as being in attendance

  • Gio B Gori, Vice President, Director, The Franklin Institute Policy Analysis Center at Chevy Chase, MD
  • Alex Malaspina, VP External Technical Affairs, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Catherine B Maimon, Administrator, Toxicology Forum Inc. Washington DC (?Catherine St Hilaire ?)
  • Ian Munro, Director, Canadian Centre for Toxicology
  • Euan HM Paul, European Health & Safety Director, General Foods Europe (UK) (Philip Morris)
  • Francis JC Roe, tobacco industry consultant/helper/organiser
  • Philippe Shubik then at Green College, Oxford University was President of the Toxicology Forum Inc (not just European one)


1984 Sep 4 Membership of the Saccharin Technical Committee of the ILSI includes

  • James L Emerson - Director Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Coca Cola
  • Alex Manaspina - Vice President Coca Cola
  • Roger Middlekauff - lawyer for FEMA
  • Gio Batta Gori - researcher fired from the NCI
  • Wallace Hayes - RJ Reynolds Chief Scientific affairs [8]

1985 Jan 1 The International Life Sciences Institute -- Nutrition Foundation is ceated.

On January 1 1985, The Nutrition Foundation, Inc. and the North American Branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) joined forces and consolidated their programs. The combined activities and resources of these two organizations have been fully integrated under the International Life Sciences Institute -- Nutrition Foundation (ILSI-NF).

This is the Board of Trustees of the International Life Sciences Institute (North America).

  • Dr L Jack Filer was Executive Director
* Sharon Senzik was Administrator
  • George W Irving Jr (consultant) [Also Executive Vice President]
  • Konrad E Block, Harvard Uni [Also Chairman]
  • Peter B Dews, Harvard Medical School [Also Executive Vice President]
  • Frank N Kotsonis, NutraSweet
  • Louis C Lasanga, Tufts Uni [Also Vice President of Safety/Toxicology]
  • Alex Malaspina, Coca Cola [Also President ILSI]
  • Robert McVicker, Kraft (Philip Morris affiliate)
  • Walter H Meyer, Procter & Gamble [Treasurer]
  • Roger D Middlekauff, McKenna Conner and Cuneo (FEMA) [Also Secretary]
  • Robert A Neal, Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology
  • Michael W Pariza, University of Wisconsin
  • Alfred E Harper University of Wisconsin
  • Robert E Smith, Nabisco (RJ Reynolds Tobacco affiliate)
  • James W Stanley, Pepsicola

The US Agency for International Development (AID - administers civilian foreign aid) designated the Nutrition Foundation as the secretariat of both International Vitamin A and Nutritional Anemia consultative groups which provided consultation and developed dietary guidelines. [9]

1985 Aug Alex Malaspina is talking on "Regulatory constraints on food safety and nutrition", at the International Congress of Nutrition (Brighton UK), but there is no mention of his affiliation to the ILSI or the ILSI-NF. He is just from the "USA". [10]

1985 Mar 22 Roger D Middlekauff is running the ILSI-NF and Alex Malaspina is just one on his mailing list re a law case trying to force the FDA to conduct hearings on the safety of aspartame in carbonated beverages. Middlekauff was a lawyer/lobbyist for McKenna Conner & Cuneo (Washington DC) and seen as the "John Rupp" of the food flavours and additives industry. He is a driving force in FEMA (Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association) and CSA (Chemical Sources Association)

1985 Aug 21 UK Tobacco advisor Francis JC Roe was reporting to British American Tobacco (BAT) on an International Congress of Nutrition held in Brighton UK. There were 2000 delegates plus spouses, with large numbers from the USA and Japan. He has a critical comment about a Bulgarian's command of English and his "habit of talking loudly (mainly to Alex Malaspina)".

The significance is simply in the fact that he didn't need to explain who Malaspina was. Clearly he was well known even to UK tobacco executives. Later in the report he notes that:

Alex Malaspina used his 35 minutes to eulogise on the activities and achievements of ILSI (International Life Sciences Institute) . What he had to say was clear and impressive but had little to do with the title under which he spoke, namely "Regulatory constraints on food - Safety and Nutrition" . Many of the audience were surprised at the scale and breadth of ILSI's activities .[11]

1986 ILSI Europe established with 11 member companies, Grew to 28 in three years

1987 July 19 Leonard Zahn's report on a German symposium; The Design and Interpretation of Inhalation Studies and Their Use in Risk Assessment It dealt with the health hazards of diesel exhaust and ozone.

Cigarette smoking was the subject of only one paper during the symposium but it was mentioned frequently by many speakers. The meeting was sponsored by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), Washington, DC, the Hannover Medical School, and the school's Fraunhofer Institute of Toxicology and Aerosol Research.

1987 Sep 18 The ISLI-Nutritional Foundation is actively organising opposition to California's Proposition 65 (Clean Air, Clean Water Act). [12]

1987 Oct 28The arbitrary nature of setting standards based on Risk Science is illustrated here by the Ccomments of Bob Suber (RJ Reynolds) to Sara Connick at the Risk Science Institute who were designing Prop 65 Guidelines. [13]

1987 Nov 5An RJ Reynolds report for October discusses their work with the ILSI and the Risk Science Institute in defining reproductive toxins and chemical carcinogens for California's Prop 65 Scientific Advisory Panel. The Food Industry were also in need for some definitions of toxicity in the 'Novel Food Group', and the ILSI appears to be taking over the management and housing of the group but leaving them with a degree of independence. [14]

1987 Dec 4 The ILSI's opposition to California's Proposition (also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act,) was handled by the ILSI-NF. Prop 65 was enacted in 1986 to help Californians make informed decisions about protecting themselves from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

The Risk Sciences Institute was in operation with Sarah Connick at this time. The director of the RSI was Catherine St. Hilaire

1987 Dec, Robert L Super, the Manager of R&D and Scientific Affairs for RJ Reynolds has reported on his division's activities for the last quarter of this year. They have some concerns about the toxicity of added flavours, and chemical herbicide and pesticide residuals in the tobacco.

Dr Bob Suber has been working with ILSI and the Risk Science Institute to provide industry's definition of reproductive toxins and chemical carcinogens for California's Proposition 65 . The Proposition 65 Scientific Advisory Panel has drafted the guidelines which will be used in these classifications .

1988 Alex Malaspina (Jan 1989) reports on the year. Three interenstional conferences, a) inhalation toxicology b) carcinogenicity testing c) radionuclides in the food chain. Also 3 confereences on fats and carbs, risk analysis, appetite sweeteners and obesity

1988 May 17 The ILSI-NF division held a meeting on Prop 65. However, since the food processors weren't too happy being caught in bed with tobacco, Tom Borelli from Philip Morris USA, gave his corporate affiliations as Kraft General Foods.

These opponents of Prop 65 appear to have had the Californian governor on side.

At a March 16, 1988 meeting on lead it was recommended that ILSI-NF undertake a project to determine the appropriate acceptable daily exposure level for use under Proposition 65. It was also suggested that ENVIRON Corporation submit a bid to develop a document that provides an analysis of the animal developmental and male and female reproductive toxicity data, and human data.

Subsequent to the March 16 meeting, it was decided that ILSI-NF would contract with ENVIRON to conduct only a review of the human epidemiologic data. ILSI-NF scientists would prepare comments to the state, drawing from the ENVIRON review, from a document developed by The Procter & Gamble Company scientists and from their own expertise.

Task Force members will review the document by Procter & Gamble entitled, "A Quantitative Assessment of the Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity of Inorganic Lead"

[Ms Sarah Connick was the collate the information and forward them to Dr McDermott, who did the ILSI's presentations at hearings.] [15]

1989 Jan 20 The ILSI and the ILSI-NF are holding a joint meeting of board members in Paradise Island in the Bahamas. There are 100 in attendance overall (It's a tough life being a lobbying executive from many companies + a dozen from ILSI and sub-divisions) Under discussion are:

A. Health & Environmental Sciences Institute (HES1)
B. ILSI in Latin America (Mexico & Brazil)
C. Risk Science Institute
D. Research Foundation
E. WHO and FAO
F. ILSl's Scientific Role

The new George W Bush administration was likely to be more aggressive in food regulations

  • proposed to establish a Division of Environmental Sciences to concentrate on chemicals in the environment
  • Dr L Jack Filer reported on the ILSI-NF which now has 13 technical committees and a budget of $3.7m (separate budget and costs)
  • Carol Henry reported on the Risk Science Institute. Working with the NIEHS, EPA and Brookings Institution
  • Ulrich Mohr reported on the ILSI Research Foundation
  • They are aiming for a total endowment of $40 million over the next 3-5 years. [16]

1989 Sep 21 Alex Malaspina, L Jack Filer and Robert L Brent set up the Health & Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) as part of the ILSI. <blokquote>During the general discussions at the organizational meetings, participants presented their views on the benefits they expect to gain from HESI. While the chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries have existing organizations to generate basic scientific data, to lobby for their interests, and to address generic scientific issues, several aspects of ILSI's approach to issues could provide complimentary results.

These include ILSI's ability to obtain greater contributions from academic/public members, an international approach to issues, and a mechanism for addressing chemical-specific risk assessments. A distinct feature of ILSI has been its ability to maintain a balance of industrial, government.

Membership is open to companies in the chemical, petrochemical, automobile, pharmaceutical, and other consumer products industries ($15,000 pa) . The founding members and current Board of Members of HESI include 11 companies. [17] It took them a year to establish it. First announced in Jan 1989

1990 /E The ILSI-NF becomes the ILSI-Human Nutrition Institute of which the Nutrition Foundation is a division.