Ragnar Rylander

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

Ragnar Rylander was a scientist who worked for Lorillard and Philip Morris doing corrupt research in both Sweden and Switzerland. He began working for Lorillard in the early 1960s with Tore Dalhamn, a professsor at the Statens Institute, which was part of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm

In 1964 he made a documentary film for the tobacco industry and Lorillard reviewed the script. He appears to be trying to prove that Lorillard's Kent cigarette with the Micronite asbestos filter was the best available. And he was funded to travel to the UK a couple of times for consultations and filming. In 1965 Alexander W Spears (Director of Science/Research) at Lorillard sends two first class airfares to Dalhamn and Rylander for a trip to America for a meeting. This is about the time they decided hurridly to abandon the use of asbestos fibre filters in their cigarettes.

Dalhamn then joined Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's largest daily newspaper as a medical writer in their Stockholm office.

In 1966 Rylander made contact with Philip Morris who had far better funding for corrupt research. He was now a Professor of Environmental Hygiene, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, (later also an associate professor at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Geneva University) and he worked on contract to Philip Morris overseeing biological laboratory work being performed at INBIFO, the Institut fur Biologische Forschung This organisation was Philip Morris's secretly-owned biological labs in Cologne, Germany which did research that was too risky for it to be done in the UK or USA.

Rylander was also used by Philip Morris and the US Tobacco Institute as a recruiter and trainer of a group of Asian "WhiteCoats" [sleeper scientists and academics who could be called upon to provide lectures, articles, letters-to-the-editor, and legislative witnesses for the cigarette industry], and in the process he made the acquaintance of Professor Linda Koo of Hong Kong University. His work for the tobacco industry there-after seems to have involved regular stop-offs in Hong Kong when Koo wasn't visiting him in Europe. Independently, Koo was seen as the most important "WhiteCoat" in Asia -- and her payments were laundered via Sarah Liao, the wife of the Hong Kong Postmaster General, who also ran a dubious air-testing company on the side. Rylander and Koo formed a team which performed regular tasks for the tobacco industry.

Rylander was one of the most destructive of all the corrupt scientist who worked for the tobacco industry, partly because of his personal involvement in rigging scientific results, but also in his mentoring of other scientists, and his recruitment of others to support the tobacco industry. Philip Morris paid Rylander between $90,000 and $150,000 per year (later salary determined from Bliley Philip Morris doc 2022850392, from 1992) and he was sent on many overseas trips to lecture and advise.

In 2000-2002, two activists publicised the fact that, despite ample evidence in the tobacco archive documents that he had publishing corrupt findings, the University of Geneva still employed Rylander,. This resulted in a libel suit followed by an appeal ... and eventually in Rylander's dismissal from the Swiss University. However he continued to work at the Swedish University of Gothenburg, and he was appointed to the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risk at the European Commission.

It took until September 2004 before an scientific fraud inquiry, followed by a major report in The Lancet (British Medical Society) journal finished his career,

Ragnar Rylander (Doc Index)
Linda Koo


Ragnar Rylander was a scientist for the University of Gothenburg who was a contracted/sponsored researcher and industry consultant for Philip Morris. (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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