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.

Published by Emilia Dunham, MPP, MBA

Emilia Dunham is currently a Project Manager at MassHealth/Department of Public Health, and formerly the Project Manager of the Life Skills project at The Fenway Institute, an HIV intervention study for young transgender women. Emilia worked at Fenway for 7 years, first as a Quality Control and Regulatory Assistant mainly involved with biomedical HIV prevention trials, before serving as the Program Associate for The Network for LGBT Health Equity, a network instrumental in many national LGBT health policy improvements. She is also involved with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, serving as a Steering Committee member and the Policy Committee Co-Chair, an organization largely responsible for the recent passage of the Trans Rights Bill. Additionally she serves as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, Co-Chair of the Recommendations Committee. Emilia received a Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University. There she served as President of the LGBTQ student group where she planned programs such as Pride Week, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and AIDS Week. In addition, she advocated for LGBTQ inclusive policies and programming on campus such as a Gender Neutral Housing program, an LGBTQ Center and the expansion of Women’s Studies to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Emilia recently earned a Master of Public Policy and Master of Business Administration in health policy and management from the Brandeis Heller School School for Social Policy and Management.

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