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Background
 

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The Geneva University investigation
 

Was the collaboration secret?
 

The ethical issues
 

Industrial associations
 

Tobacco smoke publications
 

Letters to scientific journals
 

ETS workshops
 

The campaign
 

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The Campaign

One would have suspected that the activities directed against Rylander and his collaboration with industrial tobacco researchers should dwindle after the publication of the Geneva University investigation. On the contrary it was followed by a number of different activities set out to discredit Rylander, not only his work but also his person, conducted in an Inquisitional manner. Most of these activities were mastered by Diethelm (diethelm@wanadoo.fr) or through his contacts. McKee (Martin.McKee@lshtm.ac.uk) a former editor of European Journal of Public Health who gave testimony for Rielle and Diethelm, has also played an important role in these activities. Some examples of the different actions are given in the following.

Shortly after the publication of the Geneva University Report, Rielle and Diethelm via two journalists published a book, revealing Rylanderís role as a secret mole for Philip Morris destructive work. The preface in the book was written by Farone, a former employer of Philip Morris who was sacked and now acts as a professional witness against the tobacco industry and who gave incorrect information during the Court trial. 

In 2004 Rylander was nominated an expert in an EU scientific committee on environmental health risk evaluations. Within days Diethelm coordinated an action where several European anti-tobacco groups complained to the Commissioner about the nomination to EU. Although the expert committee had nothing to do with tobacco smoke related issues the nomination was subsequently withdrawn. 

A Swedish journalist e-mail obtained access to Rylanderís private e-mail at the University through the Freedom of Access to Public Documents Act in Sweden. He found an e-mail from a former collaborator in Geneva giving personal support. The e-mail was sent to Diethelm and Riellle and the person was sacked from her job at the Geneva State Department where she worked with environmental matters, none of which related to tobacco smoke. Although a legal case concerning unlawful dismissing was won by the collaborator, a Geneva government official stated that she could not be hired again because of loss of confidence. In what and to whom?  

In 2005 the International Commission on Occupational Health asked that Rylander leave the role as a chairman of one of their scientific committees and in the end, leave ICOH altogether. The underlying forces were agitation brought about by individual members, hammering the message that the tobacco industry was evil and a judgement from their ethical committee, mostly based on the distorted evidence from Rielle and Diethelm. Interestingly the Ethical Committee found no evidence of scientific wrongdoing or tampering with data.  

Diethelm and McKee persuaded The European Respiratory Society (e-mail ersinfo.brussels@ersnet.org) and Institute National du Cancer (e-mail contact@institutcancer.fr) to publish a pamphlet they had written on the tobacco industry and environmental tobacco smoke (Lifting the smokescreen). The report contains much of the biased material that was presented in the court case and in the Geneva University investigation. Rylanderís letters to the European Respiratory Society and the Institute for Cancer, complaining about the content, were never answered. 

Regarding Rylanderís scientific publications several actions were undertaken. McKee in his position as Editor withdraw an article on dietary habits among smokers and non-smokers that had been published in the European Journal of Public Health. In 2004 Rylanderís former department at the University of Gothenburg was amalgamated with the department of occupational medicine. The new head decided that none of Rylanderís scientific articles should be present on the new departmentís list of publication. Thus some 150 references to scientific work in areas of inhalation toxicology, organic dusts, epidemiology and noise vanished. These actions against scientific publications resemble those during the Stalin era where persons unpleasant to the rulers became non-persons.

In 2006 Rylander attended an international meeting in Baltimore, presenting data on his work on the role of magnesium for cardiovascular disease. A contact of Diethelm, Jean-Claude Rochat from Lausanne (jcl_rochat@yahoo.com), wrote to several of the organisers and participants, discrediting Rylanderís work. John F Mc Kenzie from Canada also joined in. 

In 2005 Rylander was invited to give a series of guest lectures at the Belgrade medical faculty. None of the lecture subjects had anything to do with tobacco.  Diethelm asked Rochat to complain to the University and McKee joined in a day later, followed by Diethelm himself. All presented the usual harangues about the relationship with the tobacco industry, citing among other things the two workshops on environmental tobacco smoke that Rylander organised and as usual omitting to inform that a US Public Health workshop has come to the same conclusion based upon the material available at the time. The Faculty of Medicine cancelled the visiting professorship. 

The above actions are but examples of the continued harassment of Ms Rielle, Diethelm and McKee. They present a sad illustration of the means used by anti-tobacco activists, based on selected and distorted information as reviewed on other pages in this web-site. The continued personal persecution of Rylander and the attempts to destroy his continued scientific career and discredit his person, in many ways of Drefyssian proportions, are not only scientifically and morally condemnable. These actions also arrest the free interchange of scientific information and collaborative work on an international scale. The actions are deplorable and a proper name for those engaged in such work would be anti-tobacco-terrorists. May the scientific community in the end bring an end to such activities.