Thursday 31 January 2013

Those Nutty Germans, Eh?

Remember we were told that it was only "basket case" nations who object to plain packaging of tobacco?
Well, joining with the 34 countries to have already complained to the World Trade Organisation about Australia's law - the largest contingent in the history of the WTO, by the way -  it seems there are more. New Zealand are also daft enough to consider the idea and have met resistance of their own (paywall).
Hostility to plain packaging laws mounts
More countries in a major trading block have put their hostility to New Zealand's plain cigarette packaging proposals on the record. 
Italy, Poland, Germany and Spain are the latest to express opposition to laws requiring tobacco to be sold in plain, unbranded packaging.- raising their concerns at the latest meeting of an influential committee of the EU. 
Their concern was lodged with the EU Market Access Advisory as the government continues to weigh up whether or not to follow Australia and introduce the laws here (in NZ).
Tsk. Typical, isn't it? Just when you want to get something done around the place and those world-renowned insane crooks in Berlin and Madrid go and stick their oar in.
"One body of thought says that if New Zealand were to introduce plain packaging then manufacturers would have to cease using their trademarks and that would represent a failure to provide adequate protection for those assets, [Food and Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich] says. 
"That could make us in breach of the trade agreements and expose us to dispute proceedings at the World Trade Organisation. The resulting damage to our reputation as a good, reliable trading partner would be huge and the impact on our export income incalculable. 
"I sometimes wonder if this occurs to public health activists who blindly call for plain packaging as if it's some sort of magic wand that will solve all our ills."
Of course it doesn't, Katherine. They have bigger fish to fry with far more calm, balanced - and in no way 'basket case' - proposals of their own.

H/T Two, count 'em, two NZ jewel thieves via e-mail


Samuel Munro said...

one wonders if Chapman's next Research paper will have a Scratch and Sniff area for the particular aroma of Bovine Excrement that all his writings exhibit

Pogo said...

Isn't it time that the tobacco industry "grew a pair" and started to fight fire with fire? Reasonable debate and discussion in the hope of amelioration appears to be a hopeless case when confronted with zealotry, so why don't they all agree to tell the Aus government "OK, if you don't want us to market our completely legal products, we're out o' here", shut down all manufacturing and distribution and just get out of the country - it's not as if Aus is a particularly big market for them anyway... Then wait for either (a) insurrection by the x million aussie smokers denied their fags, or (b) apoplexy from the government as smuggling goes through the roof.

Problems, I suppose, apart from being cartel style behaviour, there's no way that some venal bugger wouldn't judge the commercial advantage of getting 100% of the trade worth breaking their word.

Mac McCubbin said...

"Next generation/tobacco pack warnings to incorporate scratch n' sniff tabs with cadarverine 2go with gangrene image?"

And just who's going to scratch it Simon, you warped dildo?

nisakiman said...

"The resulting damage to our reputation as a good, reliable trading
partner would be huge and the impact on our export income incalculable."

Katherine Rich is obviously in the pay of Big Tobacco. Are you going to condemn tens of thousands to a slow lingering death, Katherine? Do you want that on your conscience? And what do you know anyway, a mere Food and Grocery Council chief executive? We are Public Health Professionals, so we know what's best for everybody. That's what we do. We tell people how they must live their lives, so they will be healthy and productive. And if they don't obey, then we punish them.

Studies have shown that plain packaging is going to be hugely popular with everyone, and that the economy will boom as a result. Not only that but everybody will stop smoking and it will make the country a smoke-free utopia, where nobody ever dies, especially the cheeldren. Roses will line the streets and baby lambs will frolic in the green meadows and there will be puppies and bunny rabbits everywhere. We know this because we are Experts, and we have made computer models which tell us what the future will be.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Chapman left a wide open net, you shot, you scored! ;)

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Well, quite. Though I expect he was just thinking out loud, the fact that something like that popped into his head when reading an entirely unrelated article to tobacco is very telling. Involuntary exhibition of psychopathy.

DP said...

Dear Mr Puddlecote

If the tobacco companies lose their branding and trademarks, all other businesses will be on the line.

McDonald's etc, Coca Cola, etc, Chateau Lafitte etc, Tate & Lyle etc, Famous Grouse * etc, Saxa Salt .... plus whoever is next in the ongoing battle to preserve the incomes of the single issue campaigners.

I wonder when the other businesss will wake up - before or after the introduction of Victory Gin and Victory Cigarettes.

Except to the elite of course. Maybe that's where it is leading. Big Macs only for the Big Cheeses.


* what's he famous for anyway?

TheInvisibleHand said...


SimonG said...

Ever since Aus put in the plain packs i have gone out of my way not to buy anything they make including wines & larger (actually mainly wines Larger) and i will continue won't make much of a difference but it makes me feel i am doing something. Same will go for NZ ifthey go ahead the more of us that do it they might just eventually sit up and listen.

RB said...

Chapman needs a fucking good slap.

c777 said...

Get in the queue.

Longrider said...

Thinking out loud? I suggest that thinking is too strong a term here.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX Same will go for NZ if they go aheadXX What are you going to stop buying from THERE then? Kiwi shoe polish?