Illegal trade off the agenda

| September 13, 2016

A brand security consultant has said the World Health Organization would rather focus on easy targets, such as licit tobacco companies, than on the illegal trade in tobacco products, according to a story by Connor D. Wolf published on InsideSources.

Former US federal agent Thomas Lesnak has warned that the WHO’s political agendas and secret meetings have resulted in an echo chamber of dangerous policies.

“No one really wants to talk about what the facts are, what the real numbers are,” Lesnak reportedly told InsideSources. “It’s easy to say I’m against the big tobacco companies. Politically it’s smart. There’s no downside to it except you’re ignoring what’s really going on out there.”

Lesnak, who currently works as an international brand integrity and security consultant, and who previously served with the US Department of State and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, said that ignoring black market trading was dangerous because it meant more funding for organized crime and even terrorism.

“They’re minimizing the illicit trade problem and the funding for terrorism and the funding for organized crime cartels,” Lesnak said. “They don’t want to hear what the truth is. They want to keep some political agenda as opposed to the real issue of what illicit trade is.”

Lesnak said the WHO had significant influence when it came to policy recommendations. Its research was often viewed as unbiased and reliable. But this influence could be troublesome when the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control came out with questionable policies that they demanded countries implement.

The full story is at:

Category: Breaking News

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