Undermining public interest legislation

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Undermining public interest legislation

This 19-page, confidential Philip Morris (PM) memo by PM lobbyist Kathleen Linehan (also known as "Buffy"), describes PM's efforts to defeat public interest legislation at all levels of government and in the military. Beyond simply lobbying on tobacco issues, PM involves assistance from its food and drink subsidiaries to defeat measaures aimed at protecting and educating consumers, and benefiting the environment.

Linehan notes that PM subsidiary Kraft General Foods (KGF) worked to oppose legisation mandating the labeling of milk containing Bovine Somatotropin (BST), an artificial hormone injected into dairy cows to increase milk production, "because of the precedent this sets for other biotechnologies that may contribute to future food production or processing." She also reveals that PM, through KGF, fights laws to ban the proliferation of non-recyclable packaging (specifically juice boxes and "Capri Sun"-type foil containers, which are made of an unrecyclable composite of paper and aluminum). PM and KGF also fight laws to mandate increased recycling of trash, and that PM-drafted legislative bills ("incentive-based alternatives" to mandatory recycling laws) were actually passed in three states--Colorado, Texas and Vermont--by the end of 1994. According to Linehan, PM promotes the view in state and federal legislatures that "recycling is not the answer to solid waste management."

The memo also reveals PM fought U.S. military efforts to reduce smoking among its ranks. In 1994, Navy Surgeon General Donald F. Hagen announced the goal of a smoke-free Navy and Marine Corps by the year 2000. Notwithstaning the government's pronouncement of this goal, Linehan's memo recounts activities by PM to maintain the sale of cigarettes in military stores and says that "Congressional intervention reversed the imposition of a 'smoke-free' policy aboard navy ships in 1993. Congress enacted a provision in its [1994 Department of Defense budget]... mandating that cigarettes be sold in all [military] ships stores, effective October 1, 1994."

Through its subsidiary Miller Beer, PM fights legislative efforts to tax alcoholic beverages to pay for "the alleged costs that those beverages impose on the nation's health care system," and opposes legislation to require health warning messages about alcohol on television, radio and print advertising for alcoholic beverages:

We have set in motion a grassroots campaign against this legislation using our Miller employees, suppliers, distributors and advertisers. A beer industry coalition has also been formed to oppose this legislation.

This memo demonstrates the breadth of Philip Morris' non-tobacco legislative activities.

Document Date 19931229
Bates Number 2022838785/8803
Collection Philip Morris
Pages 19
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/vko44e00

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