Stockholm Network/Funding

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Health and Welfare Programme

The Stockholm Network is funded by Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, PhRMA and Merck who are all pharmaceutical companies with business interests in the area of health and welfare. The network has also received funding from the Centre for the New Europe who helped set the network up and reportedly receive 50% of their funding from Pfizer[1]. Catherine Windels helped to set up the network and worked at Pfizer for 22 years, part of her role was to set up think tanks and for this she gained the nickname 'the godmother of all think tanks'. [2][3] Pfizer is one of the biggest and most influential lobbyists on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry.[4]

In 2006, with Pfizer as one its funders and the drug company raking in £8 billion in annual sales for its cholesterol drug Lipitor, the best-selling drug in the world for the fifth year in a row at the time,[5] the SN published Cholesterol: The Public Policy Implications of Not Doing Enough.[6] Authors Tony Hockley from the Policy Analysis Centre (who has also completed health reports for Policy Exchange and Civitas),[7] Stephen Pollard from the Centre for the New Europe, and Mike Sedgley concluded there is 'evidence of wide-scale under-prescribing and suboptimal dosing of effective lipid-lowering agents in Europe’ and promoted 'greater use of strong statins or the addition of cholesterol absorption inhibitors to statins’ to avoid a health and welfare crisis in Europe.[8] The SN subsequently launched an awareness campaign on health risks linked to high cholesterol, while Helen Disney criticised the European Parliament’s (EP) proposal for ‘action on cardiovascular disease’ for not recognising the link between cholesterol and cardiovascular disease and accepting that ‘new treatment strategies, including combined treatment, are necessary.’ [9]

Energy and Environment Programme

The earliest record of Stockholm Network is in a 1999 report by the Heritage Foundation[10]. As well as working for Pfizer,Catherine Windels worked for the Heritage Foundation who, in 2007, cited a Stockholm Network report to argue that ‘…69 percent of British people see businesses as the most effective agents in combating threats to the environment, and 74 percent agreed that technological innovation, rather than government intervention, is the best way of dealing with future environmental challenges.’[11] The theme of arguing against government intervention on climate change is consistent with the networks position in 2004, the Stockholm Network director of Environmental affairs Dan Lewis argues that climate change is 'a problem, not a looming catastrophe' and that he has 'more faith in off-the-shelf, lower-cost technology, from companies like Toyota now building electric hybrid cars such as the Prius - achieved without any government subsidy'.[12] In another letter to the Times, Lewis argues that:

We have to get away from the idea that our environmental problems can be solved only through the complicated emissions trading schemes of the Kyoto Protocol (letters, December 13). It is time to acknowledge the treaty's greatest success -a massive public relations boost for the renewable energy and nuclear industries lobbies -and write it off.[13]

As well as arguing that tackling climate change should be left to corporations and not governments a report by Helen Disney and Dan Lewis concluded that:

Britons think protecting the environment is important - but is it as important to them as mortgage rates, crime and policing, health and education? The answer is a resounding 'no'. Britons don't believe the environment should be at the top of the priority list of policy-makers, but they don't want it to be just an add-on extra either.[14]

The data behind these arguments was produced by polling firm Populus, who have close links with the Stockholm Network through Rick Nye and the Social Market Foundation.

The Stockholm Network has received funding every in every year that has published a list of contributors from Exxon Mobil.[15][16][17] Exxon Mobil fund lobby groups who publish 'misleading and inaccurate information' about climate change. [18][19] Other groups funding the Stockholm Network include the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation. The Cato Institute receives funding from Koch Industries who alongside Exxon Mobil are one of the most powerful corporate lobbyists against climate change, the Heritage Foundation receives funding from both Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries.[20][21][22]


Transparency over funding

According to its website, the Stockholm Network receives funding from a variety of individuals, corporations, trade associations and foundations:

’A mixture of for-profit and not-for-profit organisations, some SN supporters are large global enterprises, while others are small or medium in size. Subscriptions from individuals, commercial enterprises, and a range of NGOs make up the bulk of our funding. We also derive a small income from the sale of our publications and research materials to the public, bookshops, government agencies and private companies. Corporate subscribers come from a wide range of sectors that currently include information technology, energy, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, entertainment, public affairs, and insurers.’[23]

Funders, however, ‘do not have a veto over the outcome of Stockholm Network research or any influence over its media output.’ The network maintains that it does not accept payments intended to ‘purchase’ prearranged research outcomes. It also insists it is not a ‘front group’ for other organisations or individuals and that contributors are listed in full on its annual report and website. [24]

The Corporate Europe Observatory give the following description of an e-mail exchange with Helen Disney regarding the funding of the Stockholm Network:

The Stockholm Network is funded, Disney explained, "by annual subscriptions from private individuals, companies and foundations, including think tanks". When we responded asking for a list of funders and how much they contribute, Disney told us that the Stockholm Network has "around 25 major funders across a variety of sectors including public affairs firms, venture capitalists, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, trade associations, software companies and the energy sector." Still no names and no figures, although Disney did add that sponsors "do not have a veto over any research we conduct and may not commission research from the Network". When we insisted once more on names and figures, the response was that "I cannot give you the information you ask for since our accounts for 2004 will not be completed for another month". We then suggested that Disney could send us the overview for 2003, to give us an idea, but also this proved to be impossible. Disney argued that until January 2004, the Stockholm Network was technically part of the think tank Civitas, "so did not have its own accounts." At this stage, Disney did inform us about the Stockholm Network's annual subscription charges of £1000, £5000 or £10,000 per year. "Larger corporate donors tend to join at the £10,000 level", she explained. The Stockholm Network clearly took the survey seriously and spent significant amount of time responding, but with a remarkable determination to avoid naming funders.[25]

In an edit to the Stockholm Network's Wikipedia page owner Helen Disney added the following comments about funding and transparency:

The Stockholm Network has made efforts to be transparent regarding the sources of its funding, and has advocated that other think tanks should also list their funders on their websites. This would make accusations of potential conflicts of interest, or lobbying, which can be impossible to either corroborate or refute (given their often unattributed and/or unverified nature) less likely.[26]

Prior to adding this comment about transparency Disney made repeated edits to remove material from Wikipedia about the Stockholm Network. Including resources that linked to critical articles in Spinwatch and Corporate Europe Observatory.[27] Disney also tried to remove any mention of think tanks leaving the network. [28]


2005-2006

In 2005-06 The Stockholm Network received contributions from the following individuals and organisations:

3M Security Systems Division | Akademika | Authentix | Bertrams Books | Bettina Bergbauer | Blackwell's Book Service | Centre for the New Europe | Centro di Documentazione | Dale Investment Advisors | Dawsons Books | DCI Group | Dietmar Dreier | Paul Newton - CCVTM | DTB Associates | Eli Lilly | Esia books | EU Bookshop | Exxon Mobil | Facultas Bookshop | Forensic Technology | FreedomWorks | Gardners Books | Gary Bogard | Geoff Dover | German Pharma Health Fund | Graeme Robertson | Heritage Foundation | Hill and Knowlton | IFPMA | J.Story-Scienti | Jim Rittenburg | Julian Morris | Karin A Schmidt | Lehmanns Fachbuchhandlung | LIF | Lovells Library | Luther Pendragon | Mariana Magalhaes | Mark Krueger & Associates | Merck & Co Inc |Missing Link Booksellers | Nancy Hansen | NAPP Pharmaceuticals | PA Consulting Group | Peter Pitts | Pfizer Inc | Pfizer Ltd | Pharmaceutical Marketing | Philip Sinopoli | Philips Electronics | PhRMA | RETI Roularta Media Group | Stationery Office Bookshop | Tesa AG | The Economist | The Tax Foundation | Tim Phillips | Tony Walsh | University of Texas at Austin | USPTO/International Relations | Verizon | Worldwide Book Supplies[29].

2006-2007

In 2006-07 The Stockholm Network received contributions from the following individuals and organisations:

Amazon EU | Beacon Books | Bertrams Books | BGN Distributie | Blackwell's Book Service UK | Blackwell's Business & Law Bookshop | Bookshop J Story Scientia | BUPA | Burson Marsteller | Civitas | Coronet Books Inc | Daunt Books | Dawson Books | DEA S.p.A. | The Economist | Eli Lilly | Elisa Kangaskoski | Erasmus Booksellers | EU Bookshop | EU Observer European Bookshop Ltd | Exxon Mobil | Fachbuchhandlung fur Sprachen | FSF Ltd - Public Finance Magazine | The Fund for American Studies | Gardners Books | General Healthcare Group | GlaxoSmithKline | GML Hannay Booksellers | Heffers Booksellers | Hill & Knowlton | Holt Jackson Book Co. | IFPMA Institute of Directors | IPN | KLIO Bookshop | Kueper International Booksellers | LCS Consulting Lehmann - Mulheim Marsh Inc | Massman International Booksellers | McDermott Will & Emery Merck | The Merck Foundation | Merck Sharp and Dohme | Microsoft | Motion Picture Association | Muenstergass-Buchhandlung | Nuffield Hospitals | OLFZI | Patrick Barbour | Pfizer Inc | Pfizer UK | PhRMA | Precise Public Affairs | Progress & Freedom Foundation | Schering Plough AB | Schweitzer Sortiment Wien | Starkmann Ltd | Strassner GmbH | TSO Bookshop | Uitgevrerij Peeters | UST Public Affairs | VeriSign Inc | Verizon[30].

2007-2008

In 2007-08 The Stockholm Network received contributions from the following individuals and organisations:

Adam Smith Institute | Amazon EU | Beacon Books | Bertrams Books | BGN Distributie | Blackwell's Book Service UK | Blackwell's Business & Law Bookshop | Bookshop J Story Scientia | BUPA | Burson Marsteller | The Business | Cato Institute | Civitas | Coronet Books Inc | Coutts Information Services | Daunt Books | Dawson Books | DEA S.p.A. | The Economist | Eli Lilly | Elisa Kangaskoski | Erasmus Booksellers | EU Bookshop | EU Observer European Bookshop Ltd | Exxon Mobil | Fachbuchhandlung fur Sprachen | FSF Ltd - Public Finance Magazine | The Fund for American Studies | Gardners Books | General Healthcare Group | Gilead Sciences Inc. | GlaxoSmithKline | GML | Hannay Booksellers | Heffers Booksellers | Hill & Knowlton | Holt Jackson Book Co. | IFPMA | Institute of Directors | KLIO Bookshop | Kueper International Booksellers | LCS Consulting | Lehmann - Mulheim Luther | Pendragon Marsh Inc | Massman International Booksellers | Max Consult Group | Merck | The Merck Foundation | Merck Sharp and Dohme | Microsoft | Motion Picture Association | Motion Picture Association of America | Muenstergass-Buchhandlung | Novartis International | AG | Nuffield Hospitals | OLFZI | Patrick Barbour | Pfizer Inc | Pfizer UK | PhRMA | Precise Public Affairs | Schering Plough AB | Schweitzer Sortiment Wien | The Spectator | Starkmann Ltd | Strassner GmbH | TSO Bookshop | Uitgevrerij Peeters | UST Public Affairs | Yankee Book Peddler Ltd. | Wall Street Journal Europe | VeriSign Inc[31].



References

  1. Corporate Watch PFTHINK TANK PFONIES Newsletter, No. 27
  2. Catherine Windels, Officers & Trustees, The Galen Institute, Accessed 27-May-2010
  3. Paul Belein, The Brussels Capitalist Ball 2006, The Brussels Journal, 26-February-2006, Accessed 27-May-2010
  4. Corporate Watch, Pfizer Inc, Corporate Watch, Accessed 02-June-2010
  5. Herper, M. and Kang, K. Forbes. The World's Ten Best-Selling Drugs. The World's Ten Best-Selling Drugs. 22 March 2006. Accessed 27 April 2010.
  6. Tony Hockley, Mike Sedgley and Stephen Pollard. Cholesterol: The Public Policy Implications of Not Doing Enough. 2006. Accessed 27 April 2010.
  7. Policy Centre Analysis. Policy Centre Projects. Accessed 27 April 2010.
  8. Pharma Marketletter. Wider use of cholesterol-lowering drugs urged for European citizens. 3 April 2006. Accessed 27 April 2010.
  9. European Report. Health: MEPs Urge Action to Tackle Cardiovascular disease. 4 July 2007. Accessed 27 April 2010.
  10. Heritage Foundation Reports, AN OECD PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE TAX COMPETITION WOULD MEAN HIGHER TAXES AND LESS PRIVACY, BACKGROUNDER; No. 1395; Pg. 1, 18-September-2000, Accessed via Nexis UK 04-May-2010
  11. McNamara, S. and Lieberman, B. The Heritage Foundation. [1] 1 June 2007. Accessed 3 May 2010.
  12. Dan Lewis, Life: Letter: Finding the Right Focus, The Guardian, 24-June-2004, Accessed via Nexis UK 07-June-2010
  13. Dan Lewis, The Kyoto Protocol, The Times, 28-December-2004
  14. Andy MacSmith, Britain hosts energy summit while failing to meet its emission targets, Belfast Telegraph, 1-November-2005, Accessed via Nexis UK 07-June-2010
  15. Stockholm Network, Annual Report 2005-06, ISSU, Accessed 20-April-2010
  16. Stockholm Network, Annual Report 2006-07, ISSU, Accessed 20-April-2010
  17. Stockholm Network, Annual Report 2007-08, ISSU, Accessed 20-April-2010
  18. David Adam, ExxonMobil continuing to fund climate sceptic groups, records show, The Guardian, 1-July-2009, Accessed 07-June-2010
  19. Malcolm Moore, ExxonMobil funds climate-change sceptics, The Telegraph, 02-July-2009
  20. David Adam, ExxonMobil continuing to fund climate sceptic groups, records show, The Guardian, 1-July-2009, Accessed 07-June-2010
  21. Malcolm Moore, ExxonMobil funds climate-change sceptics, The Telegraph, 02-July-2009
  22. Feature Story, Exposing the dirty money behind fake climate science, Greenpeace, 30-March-2010
  23. Stockholm Network. Stockholm Network: FAQs Accessed 9 April 2010.
  24. Stockholm Network. Stockholm Network: FAQs Accessed 9 April 2010.
  25. Corporate Europe Observatory, Transparency unthinkable? Financial secrecy common among EU think tanks, Corporate Europe Observatory, July 2005, Accessed 21-April-2010
  26. HDisney, Revision as of 13:28, 7 August 2008, Wikipedia, Accessed 27-April-2010
  27. HDisney, Revision as of 13:28, 7-August-2008, Wikipedia, 7-August-2008, Accessed 29-April-2010
  28. HDisney, Revision as of 15:25, 20-January-2009, Wikipedia, 20-Januray-2009, Accessed 29-April-2010
  29. Stockholm Network, Annual Report 2005-06, ISSU, Accessed 20-April-2010
  30. Stockholm Network, Annual Report 2006-07, ISSU, Accessed 20-April-2010
  31. Stockholm Network, Annual Report 2007-08, ISSU, Accessed 20-April-2010