PTGA - Phil Tobacco Growers Association, Inc.

Promoting, Developing and  Protecting the Tobacco Growers Industry of the Philippines

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Issues

THE ISSUE

In November 2012, at the fifth Conference of the Parties (COP5), countries are expected to discuss guidelines on Articles 17&18 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), containing recommendations to regulate tobacco growing.  The original purpose of Articles 17&18 was to help tobacco growers diversify to other crops.

THE THREAT

The guidelines currently being discussed have taken a completely new and dangerous direction, suggesting that governments phase out the crop through absurd regulations before viable alternatives have even been identified.  
 
By failing to provide alternative crops, the FCTC's impractical recommendations could condemn tobacco farmers, their families, communities, and entire countries to economic devastation.  These proposals:
Fail to Offer Viable Alternative Crops - The FCTC guidelines are built on the misguided assumption that tobacco growing countries can shift tobacco farmers to alternative crops or livelihoods. The reality is that there are no successful alternative livelihood programmes.  Alternatives may not even be possible in some tobacco growing regions because:

THE LIE

That all perspectives are welcome in this debate - To date, tobacco farmers have been excluded from the debate. The FCTC's consultation process has allowed a small number of health bureaucrats to seal the fate of millions of small farmers without considering the realities of tobacco farming.  This arbitrary decision destroys the FCTC's credibility because: