[First a few background facts about his employments etc.]
The commission led by several professors is now ready and establishes that RR "has had longstanding and secret connections" to the tobacco industry. Rylander is accused of having "consciously concealed and lied about these ties in order to make the scientific world believe that he was an independent researcher". By this Rylander has "betrayed the scientific world", they say.
Much of RR's work has, according to the report, aimed at diminishing the risks of passive smoking. He has conferred with PM and attorneys who defend the interests of the tobacco industry before he has made any statements about the risks of smoking.
According to the commission Rylander's scientific studies on passive smoking have been made on the initiative of the tobacco industry, and they resulted in a questioning and minimizing of the risks. In some cases his scientific articles were written by PM personnel aimed to be published with Rylander's name under. Rylander has among other things emphasized diet rather than passive smoking as the cause for lung cancer in women, the report says.
He is also accused of having tried to infiltrate the university of Hong Kong on behalf of the tobacco industry.
In total, Rylander is criticized for heaving helped the tobacco industry and "contributed in concealing information about the harmful effects of tobacco, although he was aware of these".
The commission thinks that all the work Rylnander has done about smoking and its risks "should be called in question" and they establish the fact that the losers are several in this "Rylander affair":
** The university of Geneva, that has been "misused" and "whose reputation has been stained".
** The scientific world, which has been harmed through tendentious studies" and symposia that have been "manipulated by the tobacco industry".
** The public, "whose knowledge about the risks of passive smoking have been concealed and delayed".
The commission establishes that RR today is retired and that no "punitive sanctions" will be suggested. But the scientific world and the public should be informed that Rylander's work is "deeply suspect", they say. Therefore ciritique shall be disseminated through three of the world's leading scientific journals. The university will also totally prohibit all cooperation with the tobacco industry.
RR is upset about the overwhelming critique, when SvD meets him in Geneva where he has been preparing a letter of protest to the ministry of education in the canton. He requests of the ministry that they should declare the report of the commission as of "zero and no value".
- This certainly makes me feel bitter, I am now cut off everywhere, he says.
Rylander says that the report is "biased, incomplete and influenced by the anti-tobacco activists".
- They have not looked at my data, only at my contacts. As a matter of fact, I have made several studies pointing at how dangerous smoking is. The report lacks intellectual stringency. No wonder since it is influenced by fanatic tobacco activists, he says.
Rylander admits, however, that he "possibly should have withdrawn from the collaboration with PM" after the information that came in the 1980's about how the tobacco industry were concealing facts.
- In this respect I suppose I was naive. But I don't regret this collaboration with PM. It has given me important knowledge and there are many honest people there.
Gunilla von Hall
(a fact sidebar also adds that the report will be made public tomorrow.)