Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tobacco company helped shape European policy system favoring corporate profits over public health, study finds

Date:
January 12, 2010
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
British American Tobacco, the world's second largest tobacco transnational, strategically influenced the European Union's framework for evaluating policy options, leading to the acceptance of an agenda which emphasizes business interests over public health, according to a new study.

British American Tobacco (BAT), the world's second largest tobacco transnational, strategically influenced the European Union's framework for evaluating policy options, leading to the acceptance of an agenda which emphasizes business interests over public health, according to a study published in PLoS Medicine.

Related Articles


By law, virtually all new policies proposed in the European Union (EU) must undergo an "impact assessment" (IA): a review of the potential economic, social, and environmental consequences. The outcome of such review is heavily influenced by the type of impact assessment tool used. IA tools focusing on economic impacts, for example, tend to favor regulation increasing business profits, even if such policies undermine general public health. Independent experts have suggested that the EU's current IA tool, which focuses heavily on economic impacts, does not adequately take policies' health impacts into account.

Now, this new PLoS Medicine article provides evidence that BAT, working with companies from other sectors (including chemical, oil and food companies), played a key role in shaping the EU's current business-oriented IA system.

Dr Katherine Smith and colleagues (University of Bath; University of Edinburgh) analyzed over 700 internal BAT documents containing information on BAT's attempts to influence European regulatory reform, and interviewed relevant European policymakers and lobbyists. They found that BAT created a policy network comprised of representatives from a number of large corporations involved in marketing products that are damaging to public health and the environment, to promote a lobbying campaign to alter EU policymaking rules.

The campaign resulted in specific changes to the EU Treaty calling for policymakers to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, ultimately fostering the current system of business-oriented IA, which may well stall or even prevent future EU public health regulations, say the authors. Moreover, the authors report that EU officials were often unaware of the magnitude of BAT's influence -- presumably due to the latter's creation of a policy network and the campaign's use of third parties, such as think tanks and consultancy companies.

The authors suggest that BAT and its corporate allies laid the groundwork for a policy evaluation system in the EU which emphasizes corporate interests over citizens' health. Increased transparency, awareness of corporations' policy influence and greater understanding of the IA system are thus needed to ensure that EU policies required to protect public health continue to emerge.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Smith KE, Fooks G, Collin J, Weishaar H, Mandal S & Gilmore AB. 'Working the System' -- British American Tobacco's Influence on the European Union Treaty and Its Implications for Policy: An Analysis of Internal Tobacco Industry Documents. PLoS Medicine, 2010; 7 (1): e1000202 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000202

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Tobacco company helped shape European policy system favoring corporate profits over public health, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111211255.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2010, January 12). Tobacco company helped shape European policy system favoring corporate profits over public health, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111211255.htm
Public Library of Science. "Tobacco company helped shape European policy system favoring corporate profits over public health, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111211255.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins