In recent days President Bush has expanded his threat to attack countries that harbor suspected terrorists to include those that “develop weapons of mass destruction.” Talks are currently underway in Geneva on international efforts to control a particularlydeadly weapon of mass destruction. The weapon kills hundreds of thousands in the US every year, millions more around the globe. It induces a host of deadly diseases in its victims when delivered in its most potent form, gradually attacking the body, its immune system, even its ability to breathe, and causing slow painful death. The trafficking of this weapon is a multi billion dollar industry and involves some of the world’s most powerful corporations, backed by the world’s most powerful government.
The weapon is not anthrax or even smallpox, but tobacco.
Global tobacco treaty talks are currently underway in Geneva, and once again the U.S., working with the world’s largest tobacco producers, is seeking to undermine efforts at strengthening the ability of countries to restrict the trade and marketing of cigarettes. Poorer countries are leading the way in challenging the U.S., and the talks highlight thestark choice between global public health and private profit.
- Reggie Guevera, from the Center for AlternativeDevelopment Initiatives in the PhilippinesAl-Najjar, who was detained this weekend.
- Akinbode Oluwafemi, from Environmental RightsAction in Nigeria
- Kathryn Mulvey, Executive Director, INFACT