Code of Ethics
ILSI’s Code of Ethics and Organizational Standards of Conduct outlines ILSI’s ethical principles which guide us and all of the individuals who work with us. They describe the tenets behind our adherence to rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific investigation and scientifically balanced, evidence-based work products.
The Four Principles in the Code of Ethics are summarized as:
All ILSI projects must have a primary public purpose and benefit, and must address issues of broad public health interest.
Conflict/Declaration of Interest/Bias
ILSI believes that ensuring balance of perspectives is the most appropriate way to minimize the impact or influence any potential conflict of interest or bias may have on the scientific process. Therefore ILSI operates with transparency, conducts activities objectively, and is accountable to all stakeholders.
ILSI does not lobby, conduct lobbying activities, or make policy recommendations for specific policy decisions. Advocacy of any kind is strictly limited to the use of science as an aid in decision-making.
The purpose and funding sources for all ILSI sponsored meetings, symposia, conference, seminars, and workshops are fully disclosed. All publications list funding sources and sponsors. Speakers and authors sign disclosures of financial and other interests related to the contents of their presentations and articles.
Special Statement on Lobbying
ILSI does not make policy recommendations or lobby for specific policy decisions.
Because ILSI receives a majority of its operating and research funding from the private sector, it is often assumed it is a lobbying organization. This is not true. ILSI does not lobby. ILSI’s Code of Ethics and Organization Standards expressly prohibit lobbying on behalf of an individual company or group of companies.
Code of Ethics and Organizational Standards (full version)
Conflict of Interest Policy
1985 IRS Tax Code Determination
Audited Consolidated Financial Statements for ILSI and Affiliate, 2009 and 2010
The audited, consolidated financial statements for ILSI and the ILSI Research Foundation are posted here. These statements cover the ILSI governing and coordination functions managed by the headquarters office as well as the ILSI Research Foundation. These statements do not include the ILSI branches which are independently incorporated in their home countries. ILSI does not own these branches; rather they are affiliated with ILSI through charter agreements.
Special Statement on ILSI and WHO
In 2005, several groups expressed concern to WHO about ILSI's participation in safety standard setting activities even though ILSI was not and had never been involved in any standard setting activities.
The WHO Board Standing Committee on NGOs confirmed this, clarifying that WHO's collaboration with ILSI -- as with all other NGOs -- was intended to take advantage of ILSI's scientific and technical expertise and did not include participation in activities or discussions related to setting standards as had been claimed. WHO’s clarification has been incorrectly interpreted to mean ILSI’s activities in WHO were restricted and/or that ILSI was “banned" from WHO.
WHO continues to recognize ILSI as an accredited NGO, as it has since 1991.
Special Statement on the Tobacco Influence Myth
ILSI does not take tobacco money.
Misinformation that ILSI works on tobacco issues is based on two facts: 1) Kraft – an active ILSI supporter – was once owned by the conglomerate Altria, which also owned Phillip Morris; and 2) an internal Phillip Morris memo (made available through the Legacy Tobacco Document Library) references ILSI’s inhalation toxicology work.
In the mid-1980s, ILSI had a robust program on inhalation toxicology. Of 33 papers published in the ILSI monograph Assessment of Inhalation Hazards, three papers addressed second-hand smoke.
Two of the papers show unequivocally that second-hand smoke has adverse affects on respiratory infection and lung function, especially in children, and that epidemiological data show a “statistically significant increase in lung cancer of about 40%” for nonsmokers married to smokers. The third paper does not address risk per se but rather compares the strengths and weakness of study designs for assessing risk. These papers are publicly available:
Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Adverse Effects on Respiratory Infections, Respiratory Symptoms, and Lung Function
Environmental Tobacco and Smoke and Cancer
Risk Assessment for Inhomogeneous Subgroups
ILSI Responds to False Information
ILSI, Tobacco, and the World Health Organization