John W Gorrod

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

John William Gorrod was a nicotine chemist and Professor of Biopharmacy at the Chelsea Campus of Kings College, London. He was also a legitimate consultant to the tobacco companies in the UK on nicotine biochemistry (some through the Uni of London) but he was also trusted enough to be invited to the McGill University ETS Symposium which was a training ground for smoking science corruption. He didn't mind which side of the ethical fence he was on.

In February 1995 the new CEO of Philip Morris, Geoffrey C Bible took control of the tobacco industry's main fightback program and completely reformed the organisational structure of the company's lobbying and disinformation activities. Philip Morris virtually dominated the global tobacco industry's fightback program at this time and he realised that the problem had become global, rather than being confined to just the developed world.

Bible therefore merged the active lobbying/scientific-witness arms of both the domestic (PM USA) company and the international (PMI) division (with many national companies) and creating three new, closely-linked headquarter entities.

  • Corporate Affairs (CA) now ran the main disinformation campaigns, and they looked after the 'grants' and 'donations' given to think-tanks and university institutions which housed scientific lobbyists for the industry.
  • Worldwide Scientific Affairs (WSA) took over the old Science & Technology/Scientific Affairs operations. It now controlled the many academic and scientific consultants that had been recruited around the world: the open/admitted advisers who were paid by annual retainers; those who received grants and were open about it while always claiming to be "independent" of tobacco influence; and the numerous WhiteCoats who preferred to operate in secret, and were generally paid only on a services-rendered basis. WhiteCoats were usually paid through their own private consultancy firms, or via pseudo-scientific associations (IAPAG, ARIA, EGIL, IAI, ARTIST etc.) set up specifically to provide a money-laundry service and cover.
  • Worldwide Regulatory Affairs (WRA), was an extension of the old Washington lobbyist in-house staff, but with experts in other countries, and now operating on a global scale. They did the political lobbying and wrote the wording of the bills. The were mainly lawyers.

As part of this restructure, the head office of the company requested information about the scientists who had been recruited and run over the previous few years by the regional divisions of the company. This document from the Swiss branch run by Helmut Gaisch and Helmut Reif gives us their evaluation of some of their contractors. See original document:

Prof John William Gorrod, Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences, University of Essex

  • At this time he was research professor/Head of Health Sciences, with Kings College London
  • Value to PM: Fellow Royal Society of Chemistry/ also Royal Society of Pathology; Founding member of ISSX. Honorary members of many associations.
    [ISSX = International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics]
    [He also joined Philip Morris's ARIA/EGIL WhiteCoats pseudo-scientific front groups]
  • Services to PM: Consulting well before 1992 (lost in the mist of time).
    [He was included in Philip Morris's closed McGill ETS Conference in Nov 1989, and active in nicotine research 20 years before that; He also working with another corrupt scientist Francis JC Roe and he later worked with John Wahren and the IAPAG group (US WhiteCoats)]
    Received several research grants [Some from the CTR also];
    [His] main role as a consultant has been in attending scientific meetings on pharmacology and metabolism and providing advice on request (nicotine metabolism/biomarkers)
  • Current services: Grant to attend New Orleans meeting. Was in Richmond, Nov 1997. Funded approximately $10,000 per year.
    [This was low when compared to his previous funding of $86,000 in 1991 alone. He must have been past his use-by-date.]
  • Future value: His new nicotine lab at the University of Essex.
    [Gorrod was genuinely useful to the industry as a nicotine researcher. But after about 1995 the industry's own secret nicotine research had taught them all they needed to know (they cancelled all internal research), so the only real value to Gorrod as a consultant was that of an 'eminent scientific witness.' and a reporter at scientific conferences.]