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October 07, 2012

Tobacco growers worried about growing anti-smoking efforts

A representative of African tobacco growers gives his reasons for opposing the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). 


Francois van der Merwe is the Chairman of the Africa region of the International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA). He argues that WHO's plans will:

* threaten more than 30 million jobs worldwide.

*  drive tobacco growers out of business without offering economically viable alternative crops.

 van der Merwe argues that:

*  restricting the periods during which tobacco can be grown will not protect the environment and ensure food security and is impractical.

* many tobacco growing areas are not suitable for the cultivation of food crops

 van der Merwe also points out that the FCTC's plans for signatory countries to stop financial and technical support to their tobacco sectors does not guarantee success for anti-smoking efforts because some tobacco-growing countries (e.g. the U.S.) did not sign up to the convention.

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