A guest post by Keir Liddle
In 1977 Stanislaw Burzynski left Baylor University to start his own clinic and continue his “research” on Antineoplastons.
Burzynski revealed in a 1979 edition of Penthouse magazine that his superiors at Baylor College advised him to pursue other avenues of research, discouraging his efforts in cancer research and that his funding was at first decreased and then discontinued.
The article also makes reference to the first investigations of Burzynski’s clinic and his “treatment”. How he was told, back in the late seventies, not to publicise his treatment and how he couldn’t get a grant from the NCI or the American Cancer Society.
Faced with a lack of financial support from reputable funding sources Burzynski had to think outside the box.
Where did this lead him?
To the tobacco industry.
In a letter written to the “Council for Tobacco Research USA”, a body created by the tobacco giant Philip Morris, Burzynski requests funding for “the development of a preventative medicine” that could potentially be used in tobacco manufacture.
Burzynski, later to invent cancer-preventing toothpaste, seems to have wanted to put antineoplastons in cigarettes.
Unfortunately for Burzynski the council spent a lot of money on advertising and very little on actual scientific studies. It closed down in 1999.
The council, originally called the Tobacco Industry Research Committee (TIRC), claimed that its mission was to find out whether smoking was dangerous, and if so then the CTRs job would be to try and make cigarettes safe to smoke.
However, according to an internal tobacco industry memo titled “The Roper Proposal”, written in 1972 by Fred Panzer of the Tobacco Institute, the actual purpose of the CTR was:
promoting cigarettes and protecting them from these and other attacks
… creating doubt about the health charge without actually denying it, and advocating the public’s right to smoke, without actually urging them to take up the practice.
United States Judge Hadden Lee Sarokin, who presided over two New Jersey tobacco cases, described TIRC/CTR in 1988 as:
nothing but a hoax created for public relations purposes with no intention of seeking the truth or publishing it.
CTR’s work was described by the Wall Street Journal in 1993 as:
the longest-running misinformation campaign in US business history
Yet Burzynski, in his desperation, turned to them for funding. Ironically I think they would have made a pretty good match.
Several emails give the impression that big tobacco was watching the Burzynski affair with great interest, to determine whether they could use it to undermine the then director of the FDA.