Sunday, November 11, 2012

Comparing Tobacco and GMO PR Campaigns

It has been suggested that the BioAg businesses defeated Prop 37 by using tactics from the "tobacco industries playbook". To understand what this means, check out "The Cigarette Papers"  to see if there are any similarities between the tobacco and GMO campaigns...

"The Cigarette Papers" is a vital weapon in the battle against tobacco. I do not believe that anyone who reads it can remain passive in the struggle against tobacco. We all need to raise our voices to clear the air for a healthier America.


During my years as surgeon general and since, I have often wondered how many people died as a result of the fact that the medical and public health professions were misled by the tobacco industry. Now we can see in retrospect, as the documents discussed in this book reveal, that the tobacco industry was demoralized and in disarray in the mid-1960s, but the public voluntary health agencies and others did not take the kind of decisive action against the industry that some inside the industry expected and feared.

Forming Front Groups

Part of the industry's response to the evidence linking smoking and disease was the formation of the Tobacco Industry Research Committee (TIRC), later renamed the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR). The industry claimed that TIRC was an independent organization that would determine the truth about the health effects of smoking by funding independent scientific research. The documents show, however, that TIRC was originally created for public relations purposes, to convince the public that there was a "controversy" as to whether smoking is dangerous. As chapter 8 describes, CTR funded "special projects" whose research results could be used by industry lawyers to defend tobacco companies in court and to influence public opinion and public policy.

Chapter 2

The Center for Food Integrity
The Center for Food Integrity is a non-profit organization working to build consumer trust and confidence in today's food system. Our members represent every segment of the food system. (Facebook)
Mission: Building Trust and Confidence in Today's Food System

Chapter 1 - Introduction
Brown and Williamson (W&W)

Not until the late 1940s, however, did the modern scientific case that tobacco causes disease begin to accumulate rapidly.

Its (B&W/Tobacco Industry) purported willingness to engage in and disseminate health-related research was, in reality, always subservient to commercial and litigation considerations. 

The principal aim of this lawyer-controlled research effort was not to improve existing scientific or public understanding of the effects of smoking on health but, rather, to minimize the industry's exposure to litigation liability and additional government regulation.

B&W also sought to prevent the dissemination or disclosure of such results, either in court or in any public forum—apparently to the point of removing some relevant documents from its files and shipping them offshore.

To this day, despite overwhelming scientific evidence and official government reports, the tobacco industry contends that tobacco products are not addictive and do not cause any disease whatsoever.

"Cigarette smoking has not been scientifically established to be a cause of chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, or emphysema. Nor has it been shown to affect pregnancy outcome adversely." Sheldon Sommers, M.D., scientific director of the CTR in congressional testimony, March 1983 (29).
(Tobacco Industry's Public Statements)

Chapter 2

This memo suggests that the tobacco industry promoted filter and low-tar cigarettes primarily for public relations purposes. (Filter cigarettes had been marketed since the 1930s.) Tobacco companies realized that their customers were concerned about the reports that cigarette smoking might be dangerous, and they therefore introduced new products designed to calm those fears.

And in 1929 Lucky Strike advertisements claimed that
20,679 physicians have confirmed the fact that Lucky Strike is less irritating to the throat than other cigarettes. 

By the 1950s, when the public was becoming more apprehensive about the health dangers of smoking that were being described in the press, the tobacco industry heavily promoted filter cigarettes and made claims about less tar. In B&W's advertising of Viceroy cigarettes, for example, the "Health-Guard" filter introduced in 1952 was touted:
New HEALTH-GUARD Filter Makes VICEROY Better For Your Health Than Any Other Leading Cigarette! {1703.01, p. 2}
In general, the members of the TIRC's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) were well-respected academic researchers whose presence lent credibility to CTR. TIRC and CTR also had a scientific director who was responsible for outlining a research program and allocating research funds to best advance this program {1920.01, p. 34}. However, as described in chapter 8, the SAB and the scientific director did not always make the final decisions about which projects could be funded by CTR. Tobacco industry lawyers were responsible for many of the funding decisions. Nevertheless, in all the public statements that the industry has released over the years, it has staunchly maintained that TIRC, and later CTR, was an independent organization devoted to determining the health effects of tobacco. As we show later in this section and in chapter 8, however, the industry privately admitted that the main purpose of TIRC was public relations: to keep the "controversy" over smoking and health alive.

The document on TIRC's organization and policy also describes its position on the health effects of tobacco—namely, that the links between smoking and disease had not been proven and that more research was needed to determine the role of tobacco in various diseases.

As the tobacco industry continues its support of the search for truth and knowledge, it must recognize, as is always the case in true scientific research, there can be no promise of a quick answer. The important thing is to keep on adding to knowledge until the accumulative facts provide the basis for a sound conclusion.

Public Relations Statements About Tirc: Creating A False Controversy

The tobacco industry often referred to TIRC in its public relations statements. TIRC was used to reinforce the claim that there was a "controversy" regarding the health effects of smoking and that more research was needed. For example, a document titled "Cigarette Smoking and Health: What Are the Facts?"


Blogger said...

Are you paying more than $5 per pack of cigarettes? I buy all my cigarettes from Duty Free Depot and this saves me over 60% from cigs.

Blogger said...

VaporFi is the highest quality electronic cigarettes supplier on the market.