Molins

Breaking News

Tax payers excluded from COP meeting they fund as delegates discuss taxation

| October 15, 2014

The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control took a ‘hostile and alarming’ turn on Monday when the public was kicked out of the meeting, according to a story by Drew Johnson for the Washington Times. The sixth meeting of the COP is being held in Moscow from October 13 to 18.

None of the COP delegates believed that taxpayers from around the world had the right to attend a meeting that has devoured almost $20 million in public funds during the past two years in paying for salaries, travel expenses and other costs related to the biennial convention.

Johnson said that WHO officials and delegates argued that banning the public was necessary because of fears that tobacco growers and cigarette company operatives had infiltrated the meeting.

‘Not that it would have mattered if they had,’ Johnson wrote. ‘Public attendees are required to sit silently in the back of the huge convention hall, hundreds of feet from where the debates occur…

‘After the doors were slammed shut and the meeting resumed, it became clear why the delegates chased the public away: They wanted to work on passing a global tax on tobacco in secret.’

Johnson’s piece is at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/13/johnson-uns-health-agency-works-global-tobacco-tax/#!

Korea’s tobacco tax hike labeled a ‘trick’

| October 15, 2014

South Korea’s Health Ministry has come under fire for using the money raised from tobacco taxes for projects not related to smoking prevention, according to a story in The Korea Herald.

The criticism, which was levelled at the ministry during a two-day parliamentary audit session on Monday and Tuesday, came about a month after the ministry had announced it would raise tobacco prices by 80 percent in the name of improving public health.

According to Kim Yong-ik of the main opposition party, the ministry set aside WON990 million for telemedicine [the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology] from the National Health Promotion Fund, which is partly raised through tobacco taxes.

Telemedicine has been fiercely opposed by the nation’s health care providers and the lawmaker raised concerns about the legitimacy of the ministry’s recent push to hike tobacco prices by January 2015. “The National Health Promotion Fund is already being used for inappropriate purposes,” he said.

“This makes it even more questionable that the raised tobacco taxes, if implemented, will be used for the right purposes.”

The central government’s proposal on cigarette prices has been criticized by a number of politicians as a ‘trick’ to make up for a tax revenue shortage.

Some progress in ending child labor

| October 15, 2014

The Child Labor Coalition (CLC), whose 34 member organizations fight exploitative child labor, has welcomed the report by the US Department of Labor (USDOL), ‘2013 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor’, which suggests significant progress is being made in the war to reduce child labor internationally.

“The report is another sign that good progress is being made in efforts to reduce child labor around the world,” said Sally Greenberg, co-chair of the CLC and executive director of the National Consumers League.

According to USDOL, nine percent of the countries assessed reported ‘significant advancement’ in their child labor responses, and half of the countries assessed experienced moderate advancement. Thirty six percent were judged to have made minimal or no advancement.

Greenberg said the numbers looked even better if you dug a little deeper. The 13 countries that USDOL said had made significant advancement were mostly ones that had battled substantial child labor problems; so advancement in those countries (Albania, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Tunisia, and Uganda) was very encouraging.

However, CLC coordinator Reid Maki said it was still the case that 168 million children were trapped in exploitative child labor and another 85 million were involved in hazardous work.

USDOL does not grade the progress of the US in the report, which is mandated by the Trade and Development Act of 2000. It does however talk about the ‘US experience’ in two of the report’s thousand pages, acknowledging that there is child labor in the US, particularly in agriculture.

Reemtsma recognized for action on CO2

| October 15, 2014

Germany pic2Imperial Tobacco’s German business has won recognition for its efforts to reduce the impact of supply chain movements on the environment. Imperial reported yesterday that its subsidiary, Reemtsma, was presented with an award at an event in Nuremberg for taking action to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 percent before 2017.

The initiative includes using more fuel-efficient vehicles and providing better driver education. “This award demonstrates we have acted to deliver major reductions in emissions in logistics,” said Stephen Rettich, distribution manager Germany.

Reemtsma was a founding member of the Lean and Green network in Germany, which includes companies such as Lidl, Mars, Henkel and Unilever.

The initiative supports greater awareness amongst industry partners of environmental issues and the sharing of best practice. Lean and Green started in the Netherlands and has spread to Belgium and Italy, as well as Germany.

Its logo, pictured, is an increasingly common sight on Europe’s roads.

‘Blatant lack of transparency’ at COP6

| October 14, 2014

Yesterday in Moscow the public was forced to leave the public gallery and prevented from observing the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP6) to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), according to a note posted on Japan Tobacco International’s website.

“Hidden agendas corrupt policy-making processes”, said Michiel Reerink, global regulatory strategy vice president at JTI.

“Today’s decision to shut out legitimate businesses, expert groups and some media representatives from debates that affect their industry and areas of expertise demonstrates a blatant lack of transparency, accountability and integrity.

“The FCTC just broke its own rules under the cover of Article 5.3, which is now commonly used as an excuse to shut out the tobacco sector and anyone who is perceived to be linked to us.

“In the meantime, COP is again hijacked by tobacco control lobbyists who freely exercise undue influence.

“We urge the FCTC to take every remaining opportunity to fix this broken process and to respect rules of good governance, rather than institutionalizing a policy of closed doors”, Reerink said.

COP6 plans for tax guidelines censured

| October 14, 2014

Writing in the Town Hall, the columnist, Daniel J. Mitchell, asks today why the World Health Organization isn’t focusing solely on things such as Ebola and SARS, rather than engaging in ideological campaigns to expand the size and scope of government.

Mitchell says that under the ‘leadership’ of the UN’s WHO, hundreds of bureaucrats have descended on Moscow for the sixth Conference of the Parties (COP6) to WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

‘But this isn’t the usual junket,’ he explains. ‘The bureaucrats are pushing to create “guidelines” for tobacco taxation. Most notably, they want excise taxes to be at least 70 per cent of the cost of a pack of cigarettes.

‘I’m not a smoker and never have been, but this is offensive for several reasons.’

Mitchell then goes on to mention that the policy would enable bigger government, promote criminal activity and erode national sovereignty.

His piece is at: http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/danieljmitchell/2014/10/14/world-health-organization-ignores-ebola–focuses-on-taxing-tobacco-instead-n1904720/page/full

bmj banner

Tobacco Rag banner

white cloud cigarettes

pattyn banner

itm banner

Burghart

Burghart