Lauren V. Ackerman

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

Lauren V. Ackerman, M.D. was a a top surgical pathologist, and Professor of Pathology at Washington University, and at the University of New York, Stony Brook. [1] He appears regularly as defense expert witness for the tobacco industry, and, while still an industry consultant when at Washington University, he received institutional grant. He was associated with the Fischer Cancer Hospital which also received money from CTR.

Throughout the 1970s he acted as a tobacco industry lobbyist, and was paid by the Council for Tobacco Research through the tobacco industry's secret Special Account #4 which was handled by the Ad Hoc Committee of company lawyers. This was to ensure that the scientist/academic remained 'untainted' and could be used as a witness in court cases, or present himself at Congressional or local ordinance hearings as an authority who was 'independent' of tobacco industry influences.

The Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) was a scientific front group set up to maintain the pretence that research into all aspect of smoking were being carried out. Some of their grants were open and publicised, to prove that the industry operated ethically, but other grants were laundered through these Special Account #4 (SP#4). Because they were handled only by lawyers, the could hide the payments from any "discovery" processes if he was called as a witness in possible court-room or legislative hearing. This allowed everyone to lie about research and conceal any adverse results.

Ackerman was a close friend of Sheldon C Sommers, another pathologist who became the Scientific Director of the CTR's Scientific Advisory Board. His name also appears on a list of 'Court-declared' scientists who were funded by the Tobacco industry to fake scientific results. See list at CTR Special Projects

Documents & Timeline

1967 May 2 Alex Holtzman (the main science lawyer with Philip Morris) is reporting to David Hardy at Shook Hardy & Bacon about a group of "Special Projects" (secret research or funding for services) which he looked after for the Council for Tobacco Research's (CTR) Committee of Counsel. Special Projects are given "SP#code numbers.

  • SP#110 -- Dr. L. V. Ackerman
    Dr. Ackerman reported on July 1, 1966 that he had collected three examples of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Since then, I believe, only one more case has been found.
    On January 30, 1967, he sent me a review of the cases of lung cancer in both men and women at Barnes Hospital for the period July 1, 1966 to January 1, 1967. This gave a breakdown of the pathologic classifications, but nothing in regard to smoking habits.
    Around that time he told me that it did not appear worthwhile to continue searching for cases of epidermoid lung cancer in only one institution. He has not had much success in getting Tom Burford (another Special Account #4 recipient) to request cases from surgeons at other large cancer centers.
    Ackerman suggested some time ago that he could assign a young pathologist to go to the leading cancer institutions and collect such cases together with the charts and slides. Ackerman would then be willing to review the slide material and then write up a report on all of the cases collected.
    He told me also that Dr. Kreyberg is seeking to collect cases of lung cancer in non- smokers and had requested Ackerman's cooperation.
[Ackerman and Burford were collecting these cases for the tobacco industry for only one reason -- so that they could manipulate the statistics which showed most people who got lung cancer were smokers. There were occupational causes of lung-cancer also, but it was rare to find workers in high-dust conditions who didn't also smoke, and smoking and dust-diseases were synergistic]

1970 Mar 3 The general counsel for Philip Morris in New York, Alex Holtzman, is corresponding with Andrew Whist, the key disinformation expert with Philip Morris Australia. Holtzman has been sending out corrupt scientists (Rune Cederlof and Lars Friberg, etc) to conduct media tours in Australia, where they claim that there is no justification for anyone having concern about the health effects of tobacco smoke.

Holtzman has just learned that Sheldon ('Charlie') Sommers, the Acting Research Director at the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) is planning to visit Australia in June -- and he has agreed to ...

"... devote part of his time to participating in whatever activities you might arrange."
Lauren V Ackerman, Professor of Pathology at Washington University, St Louis and a good friend of ours [who] has an international reputation in the cancer field" [might also join Sommers.] "He has a wider reputation than Sommers, and is the associate editor of the ACS's journal, Cancer -- so his objectivity could not be questioned."

Ackerman, unfortunately, believes that smoking ...

"might be implicated in some cases of lung cancer, but that its contribution to lung cancer overall is fairly small.
I hesitate to make a strong recommendation on Ackerman since as you and I know from the Cederlof/Friberg situation, it can be difficult to handle two scientists who have somewhat divergent views.
Ackerman is entirely willing to, leave the discussion of smoking and health questions in Sommers hands and to make only such remarks on this subject as might be considered helpful. Also, he is very critical of the Auerbach [smoking beagle] study and will be in a very good position to discuss its shortcomings.
Sommers' visit, incidentally, would be entirely under his own auspices without any support from the industry. As to Ackerman, we would have to arrange to pay his expenses, but I am certain that many academics in Australial would be anxious to arrange speaking dates for him.

He also suggests John P Wyatt and Ray Rosenman [both fully in the industry pay]

Finally, I am enclosing a very recent article by Dr Carl C Seltzer of Harvard University which represents an excellent criticism of the scientific information in relation to cigarette smoking and heart disease.

[This triggered Seltzer's later career as the main international travelling salesman for doubt about smoking and heart attacks.] [3]

1970 Mar 10 Alex Holtzman, the general counsel to Philip Morris, reports to Paul D Smith (head of Committee of Counsel):

Lauren Ackerman telephoned me at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon to say that Auerbach's manuscript has not yet been received at the editorial office of Cancer. [4]

[Ackerman was the associate editor of the Journal and he was tipping them off about the threat from Dr Oscar Auerbach's famous Beagle Smoking Dog study which established that animals could get lung cancers from breathing smoke.

1970 Mar 16 A second exchange of information between Holtzman and Paul Smith is Unavailable -- it is classed as "Privileged Content" MEMORANDUM BETWEEN PHILIP MORRIS COUNSEL REGARDING AUERBACH STUDY; SECRET.

However the indexing reveals that it also deals with Lauren Akerman and Sheldon Sommers and it mentions both the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the journal 'Cancer' which Ackerman co-edits. [5]

1971 Feb 28 The audit for the CTR's secret Special Account #4 (six months only) shows: Disbursements :-
Consultants' Fees and Expenses :-

Auditing ...................$ 225.00 ........... $17,257.29
Cash in Bank - Feb 28 1971 ........ $54,674.64
[Note: there was also a $500 reimbursement to the Canadian Tobacco Industry for a sum advanced to Dr Rene Cederlof [6]

Court-declared list of scientists

Note: this is just a partial list of the scientists, academics and 'consultants' who were being paid via Special Project accounts. It deals only with the scientists known to the courts at the time it was compiled. Many other academics and professionals were paid via these accounts as revealed at later dates.  

The Council of Tobacco Research (CTR) was a tobacco front group designed to promote the idea that science had not proven cigarettes were bad for your health. Those listed below were scientists funded by tobacco to confuse the scientific issues.
Grants made via the CTR's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) may be legitimate (or not), but those made through the secret Special Account #4 were effectively bribes.
Domingo M Aviado Lauren V Ackerman George Albee James Ballenger
Alvan L Barach Walter L BarkerBroda O Barnes SP#41
W-BRF, Colorado State Uni.
Walter Becker
Peter Berger Rodger L Bick Theodore H Blau Richard Bing
Evelyn J BowersThomas H Brem Irvin Blose Walter M Booker
Oliver Brooke Richard Brotman Lyman A Brewer SP#47
School of Medicine, USC, LA
Barbara B Brown SP#50
PANA Res.Found., Sepulveda CA
K Alexander BrownleeKatherine Bryant Victor B Buhler Thomas H Burford
J Harold BurnMarie Burnett Maurice Campbell Duane Carr
Rune Cederlof Domenic V Cicchetti Martin J Cline W Clark Cooper
Anthony M Cosentino Daniel Cox Gertrude M Cox
Geza De Takato Bertram D Dimmens Charles Dunlap Henry W Elliott
J Earle Estes Frederick J EvansWilliam Evans Hans J Eysenck SP#60/65
Uni of London, UK.
Jack M FarrisSherwin J FeinhandlerAlvan R Feinstein SP#2
Yale Uni, New Haven, Conn
Herman Feldman
Edward Fickes Theodor N Finley Melvin W First Edwin R Fisher
Russel S Fisher Merritt W FosterRichard FreedmanHerbert Freudenberger
Arthur Furst Nicholas GerberMenard M Gertler Jean D Gibbons
Carl GlasserDonald Goodwin Bernard G Greenberg Alan Griffen
Finn Gyntelberg William Heavlin Norman W Heimstra Joseph Herkson
Richard J. Hickey SP#56
Wharton School, U of Penn.
Carlos Hilado Harold C Hodge Charles H Hine
Gary L Huber Wilhelm C Hueper Darrell Huff Duncan Hutcheon
Joseph J Janis Roger A Jenkins Marvin Kastenbaum Marti Kirschbaum
Leonard A Katz SP#3
Michigan State Uni, East Lansing
Lawrence L Kuper Mariano La Via Hiram T Langston SP#4
VA Hospital, Hines IL
William G LeamanMichael Lebowitz Samuel B LehrerWilliam Lerner
Edward Raynar LevineGerald J LiebermanStephen C Littlechild Eleanor Macdonald
Nathan Mantel Ross McFarland Thomas F Mancuso SP#67
Occ.Health, Uni of Pittsburgh
Milton Meckler
Nancy Mello Jack Mendelson Irvin Miller Marc Micozzi
Kenneth M Moser Albert H Niden Judith O'FallonJohn O'Lane
William B OberJoseph H Ogura Ronald OkunIngram Olkin
Thomas L Petty Leslie Preger Walter J. Priest Richard Proctor
Terrence P Pshler Herbert L. RatcliffeAttilio Renzetti L.G.S. Rao
Raymond H Rigdon Jay Roberts Milton B Rosenblatt John Rosencrans
Walter Rosenkrantz Ray H Rosenman Linda Russek Henry Russek
Ragnar Rylander George L Saiger D.E. Sailagyi I Richard Savage
Richard S Schilling Stanley S SchorGerhard N Schrauzer Charles Schultz
John Schwab Carl C Seltzer Paul Shalmy Robert Shilling
Henry Shotwell Allen Silberberg N. Skolnik James F Smith SP#43
Uni of Tennessee, Memphis
Louis A. SoloffSheldon C Sommers (CTR) JB Spalding Charles Spielberg
Charles Spielberger Lawrence Spielvogel Russell StedmanArthur Stein
Elia SterlingTheodor Sterling SP#51/58/61/62
Washington U, St Louis
Thomas Szasz Paul Toannidis
Chris P TsokosHelmut Valentin Richard Wagner Norman Wall
Roger WilsonJack Wiseman George Wright John P Wyatt
Jacob Yerushalmy SP#59
SPH UC Berkely+ Stats, Jerusalem
Irving Zeidman
Aleph Foundation Arthur D. Little Aspen Conference Atmospheric Health Sciences
(Domingo M Avido)
ACVA Atlantic
(Gray Robertson)
Able-Lands Battelle Columbus LaboratoriesBattelle Memorial Institute
Billings & Gussman BioResearch Laboratories
(L.G.S. Rao)
Brigham Young University Colucci & Associates
Cohen Coleghety FoundationCode Consultants Inc.Carney Enterprises Computerland
Engineered Energy ManagementEnvironmental Policy InstituteEysenck Institute of Psychiatry
(Hans J Eysenck)
FudenbergHarvard Medical SchoolHine Inc.
(Charles H Hine)
Information Intersciences
International Consultancy International Technology Corporation International Information Institute J.B. Spalding Statistical Service
J.F. Smith Research Account Jacob, Medinger & Finnegan Kravetz Levine & SpotnitzShook, Hardy & Bacon
Michigan State University Meckler Engineering Group
(Milton Meckler)
Peat, Marwick Main & Co. R.W. Andersohn & Assoc.
Pitney, Hardin & KippPublic Smoking Research Group Response Analysis Project
(Alfred Vogel/Reuben Cohen)
Response Analysis Corporation
(Alfred Vogel/Reuben Cohen)
Schirmer Engineering Corp.St. George Hospital & Medical SchoolStanford Research Institution ProjectFound. for Res. in Bronchial Asthma and Related Diseases
The Futures GroupUniversity of South FloridaWayne State University Weinberg Consulting Group
(Myron Weinberg)
Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
DOUBLE-HIDDEN SPECIAL GRANTS paid through the companies/itself
CTR (paid itself) Hearings-Kennedy-Hart BillIndustry Research Liaison Committee Philip Morris
Thomas S Osdene
RJ Reynolds
Murray Senkus
See also [7] and this 1972-81 list with the total amounts paid: [8] This is not an exhaustive list.<br The CTR also has a special site with an index under the Minnesota Agreement. (not very useful) [9]

These are CTR Special Project grantees now known not to have been included in the above list: [10]


(PMI's Introduction to Privilege Log and Glossary of Names, Estate of Burl Butler v. PMI, et al, April 19, 1996)

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