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Reynolds Targets Environmentalists for Earth Day

Emilia Dunham sharing on new tactic of the tobacco industry
Our friends at Collaborators for Glantz SmokeFreeMovies informed us of a new 2011 EARTH DAY card from Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, a division of tobacco giant Reynolds American and the marketer of American Spirit brands. This brand in particular totes that its product supposedly contains organically grown tobacco. Talk about mixed messages.

Here’s their story on the ads:

Inviting readers to “get your hands dirty” in organic gardening, Reynolds suggests “companion planting” to attract insects that dine on pests. They even include sunflower and marigold seed packets.
Yet Reynolds passes up the chance to push a powerful “natural” pesticide packed into its own products: nicotine.
In action, nicotine locks onto receptors in an insect’s central nervous system and “causes paralysis and death.” [1] Nicotine has spurred development of 2,000 derivative neurotoxins by the pesticide industry. [2]
True, EPA has banned all nicotine-based pesticides [3] because of “intrinsic high mammalian toxicity.” [4]  But the US tobacco industry, whose products have shown rising nicotine levels, [5] made sure the FDA had no power to ban nicotine deliberately sold for human (mammalian) consumption.[6]
Result? While lettuce-munching bugs are safe from nicotine pesticides, nicotine addiction continues to kill 400,000 Americans each year.
Who knows more about getting your hands dirty? The US tobacco industry.

Here’s what you could know and do

In support of Earth Day 2011 Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California (TECC) has several materials with messages that promote environmental awareness through tobacco-free living. Find them in ourEnvironmental Factor section of our online catalog. You can also check out the officialEarth Day Network website for more information on how to get involved and take action.

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