INFACT Condemns Attempt by Philip Morris to Set Terms of Federal Tobacco Regulation
BOSTON, March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The national corporate watchdog organization INFACT today denounced Philip Morris's announcement that it is willing to discuss government regulation, as yet another in a long history of attempts to fend off independent over
Philip Morris used a similar tactic four years ago, trying to preempt Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of tobacco by drafting its own proposed federal legislation. Following a public outcry, the proposal went nowhere. ``Philip Morris's image makeover hasn't changed the terms of the debate. This matter should be handled by elected officials and those charged with safeguarding public health -- not tobacco executives,'' said Mulvey.
Since 1995 when the FDA first moved to regulate the tobacco industry, Philip Morris has been using its political influence and public relations prowess to fight this initiative at every turn. Philip Morris internal documents from 1996 outline plans to ``implement a legislative program to block FDA regulation of tobacco.''
Philip Morris is in a concerted drive to improve its image with the public and policymakers, including a $100 million ad campaign and a new strategy of highlighting its ownership of Kraft Foods. Yet public support for strong, independent regulation of the tobacco industry remains solid. A recent poll conducted for INFACT showed that 69% of U.S. adults agree that tobacco corporations should be regulated by the FDA. And INFACT's Kraft Boycott is expanding nationally as public awareness of Philip Morris's tobacco promotion and influence-peddling abuses grows. Boycott visibility on college campuses like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is prompting aggressive retaliation from Philip Morris.
Momentum is growing internationally as well. The World Health Organization is developing an international treaty to control tobacco. At hearings later this month, INFACT representatives will tell U.S. treaty negotiators that the U.S. public's support for tobacco control does not stop at our borders -- 68% agree that there is a need for independent regulation of the tobacco corporations in the US and around the world. ``The corporation promoting tobacco addiction with the Marlboro Man and obstructing FDA action through its lawsuit and political influence has no place at the table in our democracy,'' concludes Mulvey.
Founded in 1977, INFACT's purpose is to stop life-threatening abuses by transnational corporations and increase their accountability to people around the world. INFACT is known for the successful Nestle and GE Boycotts. For more information about INFACT, visit www.infact.org.