As part of a program to give voice to a select group of think tanks, on January 30 the Washington Post printed an article by toxicologist and epidemiologist Gio Batta Gori, titled "The Bogus 'Science' of Secondhand Smoke." Gori claims that many published studies on the health hazards of secondhand smoke are based on unreliable data, and that smoking restrictions aimed at protecting public health are "odious and unfair." The byline describes Gori as a "fellow of the Health Policy Center in Bethesda," and mentions his former position as deputy director of the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Cause and Prevention. Hmmm... sounds like a high-level scientist, all right. However, the Post fails to mention Gori's longstanding record of financial and contractual ties to the tobacco industry. Previously-secret internal tobacco company documents now on the Internet (and available to any reporter) show decades of payments made to the esteemed Dr. Gori, primarily from cigarette maker Brown & Williamson, for promoting pro-tobacco views on secondhand smoke in publications and public testimony. Without this information, readers were kept in the dark, unable to evaluate Gori's damning critique of well-established public health research.
By Anne Landman on February 12, 2007