INFACT Urges US Delegation to Rein in Tobacco Transnationals
WASHINGTON, March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at a public meeting organized by the US delegation to the World Health Assembly, INFACT, a national corporate watchdog organization, called for strong US support for international regulation of the tobacco indust
Public support for international tobacco control is solid. According to a recent poll conducted for INFACT, 68% of the US public agrees that there is a need for independent regulation of the tobacco corporations in the US and around the world, and two-thirds do not believe that corporations should expand internationally in order to escape limitations on marketing dangerous products in the US. The momentum of INFACT's Kraft Boycott is building pressure on Philip Morris to change its abusive tobacco promotion and influence-peddling practices.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the international body developing the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, four million people around the world die each year from tobacco-related illnesses. That number is projected to rise to 10 million by the year 2030, with most of those deaths occurring in developing countries. Since 1990, Philip Morris' international tobacco profits have grown by 256%. The global expansion by Philip Morris and other tobacco transnationals, coinciding with the significant growth in worldwide rates of tobacco related illnesses and death, has prompted widespread support for the treaty.
INFACT is a founding member of the Network for the Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals, which includes dozens of organizations from twenty countries committed to ensuring that the Framework Convention institutes effective controls over tobacco transnationals that are spreading tobacco addiction, disease, and death. Members of the Network include the National Council Against Smoking of South Africa and International Women Against Tobacco, both of whom submitted written comments urging the US to rein in Philip Morris' abusive tobacco promotional tactics around the world.
INFACT and the Network are pushing for limits on and disclosure of the tobacco industry's influence-peddling, using the settlement with the state of Minnesota as a model for such restrictions. In the 1998 book Global Aggression, INFACT has exposed numerous Philip Morris' influence-peddling tactics to undermine and circumvent national laws designed to restrict tobacco promotion, particularly to children and young people.
INFACT made a strong case against tobacco industry involvement in the development of the Framework Convention, saying, ``In the US, independent FDA regulation has been thwarted for years by Philip Morris and the rest of the tobacco industry. The tobacco corporations have disqualified themselves from involvement because of their inherent conflict of interest. There is no public health justification for giving the tobacco industry a place at the negotiating table for this Framework Convention.''
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.