Regulation of tobacco products favors big tobacco, makes U.S. farms less stable

In an attempt to reinvent itself as a “responsible corporate citizen,” tobacco company Philip Morris has begun an unlikely support of regulation of tobacco products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

However, a new study by Peter Benson, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences, published in the latest issue of “American Ethnologist,” shows that proposed FDA regulation fails to address the suffering of migrant tobacco workers, the prevalence of smoking and the redistribution of leaf production to the developing world.

Benson suggests the FDA may actually favor the tobacco industry by reducing its liability for tobacco-related death and disease, by sustaining its operations around the world and by strengthening its control over the terms of its contracts with U.S. tobacco growers. 

Benson’s study is based on fieldwork conducted in North Carolina. He provides an ethnographic view of how the recent shift from traditional auction marketing to private contract agriculture affects differently positioned farmers and farm workers. 

Read more at The Source. 

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