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Tobacco companies funding cancer research [03/31/2008]

Tobacco companies funding cancer research

RICHMOND, Va. (UPI) -- U.S. tobacco giant Philip Morris has funded millions of dollars in scientific research since 2000 aimed, it says, at reducing the harm from cigarettes.

The millions have been provided through the company's External Research Program, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

Boston University said it received $3.99 million in grants from the company in the past 10 years. The University of Massachusetts said it received "no more than" $2 million from tobacco companies in that period in which it said it received $1.3 billion in other research grants.

Philip Morris spokesman David M. Sylvia said the company had underwritten 470 projects resulting in more than 1,000 scientific publications since 2000.

The grants have been offered with no strings attached, but critics said the practice is like asking the fox to guard the hen house.

"Taking money from the tobacco industry to conduct scientific research is like the DA taking money from the Mafia to conduct investigations of crime," the former director of the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program, Gregory Connolly, told the newspaper.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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