ITGA Launches Global Petition Campaign to Oppose Draconian Measures
CASTELO BRANCO, PORTUGAL, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - More than 30 million
tobacco farmers worldwide today reacted with outrage to the publication
of new proposals to regulate tobacco farming by the World Health
Organization's (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC),
vowing to rally governments to oppose the measures.
"By suggesting governments phase out tobacco growing, these ideological
recommendations put the jobs of more than 30 million farmers at risk
without providing them with any economically viable alternative crops,"
said Antonio Abrunhosa, the chief executive officer of the
International Tobacco Growers' Association (ITGA). "The WHO has
consistently refused to listen to tobacco growers in drafting the
proposals that directly impact this industry. By doing so, they've
become like a blind man driving a steamroller."
The current proposals  go far beyond the FCTC's original mandate .
They are designed to force tobacco growers out of business by creating
artificial restrictions on tobacco supply while failing to address the
growing demand for the crop. This is being done through
recommendations that seek to:
Restrict production by regulating the seasons in which tobacco can be
Reduce the area allocated for tobacco farming
Ban financial or technical support for tobacco farmers
More absurd and discriminatory recommendations such as, banning
contracts between farmers and their clients or banning bank loans to
tobacco growers were already refused by governments from tobacco
growing countries, but may be proposed again at the next Conference of
the Parties (CoP5), which takes place in Seoul from November 12th -
"Now is the time for governments to act and oppose these draconian
measures," Abrunhosa said. To rally governments worldwide in
opposition to the measures, the ITGA is launching a global petition
campaign, available online and through growers' associations. The
petition calls on government leaders to "Reject these irrational and
destructive proposals in favour of a more realistic approach that will
help tobacco farmers adapt if and when the demand for tobacco evolves."
The petition is available online at http://protectfarmers.tobaccoleaf.org/join-our-fight.aspx
Notes to Editors:
These proposals relate to 'Articles 17&18' and will be discussed at COP
5 (Conference of the Parties), which takes place in Seoul from November
12th-17th, 2012. All 175 countries who have signed the WHO's
'Framework Convention on Tobacco Control' (FCTC) are eligible to attend
the Conference and vote.
The original goals of the FCTC stated that governments should provide: "technical and financial assistance to aid the economic transition of
tobacco growers and workers whose livelihoods are seriously affected as
a consequence of tobacco control programs."
For further information or to arrange an interview with ITGA Chief
Executive and tobacco farmer, Antonio Abrunhosa, please contact John
Read (m: +447774476391) or David Alexander (m: +447802412424) at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: The International Tobacco Growers' Association
For further information:
For further information or to arrange an interview with ITGA Chief Executive and tobacco farmer, Antonio Abrunhosa, please contact John Read (m: +447774476391) or David Alexander (m: +447802412424) at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org