The row over the European Commission’s release of heavily redacted documents documenting its relationship with the tobacco industry is just ‘another dirty drop in an already murky pool’, argues Florence Berteletti.
The adoption of the EU’s revised Tobacco Products Directive should be considered a victory for public health.
However, it also marked the end of five years of controversial lobbying practices by the tobacco industry, which included a multitude of well-documented unsavory events.
One would have hoped that in the aftermath of these events, the European Commission would have learnt some lessons and would now be dealing with the tobacco industry in a different manner.
“This privileging of corporate interests over democracy is only going to get worse. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – a treaty being hammered out between the EU and the US with woefully little scrutiny – could grant companies the same legal rights as nation states, enabling them to sue elected governments in secret courts to block policies that dent future profits. And sure enough – using a similar treaty – Philip Morris sued the Australian government for the same policy…
It used the same tactic against Uruguay’s government for enlarging health warnings on cigarette packages.”
If the law favors Big Tobacco over taxpayers, then the law is a disgrace | Owen Jones