Big Tobacco Eyes Easing Restrictions Via TTIP

If Kennedy was right, then the United States and its partners in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) must be very afraid indeed of their people.

Despite a promise made only weeks ago by the EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström to “publish detailed and extensive reports of the negotiations,” key documents recording details of negotiations between Big Tobacco and the EU were heavily redacted before being posted on the official EU website.

Virtually every word of the documents recording correspondence with and minutes of meetings with tobacco lobbyists and representatives of the governments of the United States, Japan, and the European Union was blacked out before being made available online.

In one example typical of the amount of pre-publication editing, a 14-page letter from British American Tobacco revealed fewer than five percent of the text. What was visible was little more than the written version of small talk.

Another egregious example of what the EU and U.S. trade representatives consider “access” and “transparency” is a single page memo of a meeting with lobbyists working for Philip Morris. In that offering to openness, even the date was redacted!

Activists in Europe have requested the full record of these meetings, supposing that they would reveal efforts by multinational tobacco conglomerates to include revocations of national (American, Japanese, and European) restrictions on the advertising, buying, and selling of tobacco.