Press Release: FCTC demands governments, researchers avoid talking to automotive industry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Geneva, Switzerland

1 April 2013

At the eighth meeting of the delegates to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Framework Convention on Traffic Control (FCTC), delegates adopted Article 5.3, which forbids signatory governments from consultation and engagement with Big Auto and other parts of the automotive industry.  Governments are also to act to ensure that independent researchers are also prevented from such engagement, using such mechanisms as political imprisonment, press censorship, and blacklisting.

The FCTC is devoted to ridding the world of the use of passenger cars by 2050 as part of WHO’s Social Programming to Eliminate Non-communicable Disease initiative.  Automobiles are the leading cause of death in age groups from 4 to 50 years, and the second leading preventable cause of death in the world today.  They are also the leading cause of obesity, exposure to second-hand smoke, and death and injuries among pedestrians and cyclists.  In addition to their immediate health effects, automobiles are the leading contributor to global warming.

The automobile industry has a long-standing practice of influencing governments and manipulating consumers, including encouraging youth uptake, advertising in youth-targeted media such as television and magazines, selling vehicles that can achieve speeds far in excess of any legal speed limit, shutting down government-approved alternative transport, and covering up newly-discovered health threats.  Indeed, the influence of the industry is so pervasive that one corrupted government recently provided a 13.6 billion euro ($17.4 billion) bailout of its domestic industry, rather than letting it fail as it should have done.

Article 5.3 also requires that all future automotive research on such topics and safety engineering should be entirely controlled by governments and FCTC’s approved list of public health researchers.  Industry and those willing to constructively engage with them will be forbidden from conducting such research.  Only by excluding the world’s best automotive engineers from the research process, replacing them with second-rate sociologists and medics, can public health’s goals be achieved.

The new rules are urgently needed due to the industry’s initiatives to substitute new “reduced risk” products, an attempt to attract new customers that can only be explained by our successful denormalization of driving.  Recent attempts by automobile manufacturers to encourage “harm reduction” represent a blatant effort to make driving appear more acceptable.  Industry wants consumers to continue to be addicted to these new products, rather than sticking with government-approved driving cessation methods like buses, trains, and reclusion, which are clinically proven to be successful for almost 5% of the population.

Despite the industry’s marketing claims, no randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that their new products are lower risk.  Instead, these efforts recall the industry’s infamous “seat belt” fraud from the 1960s and 1970s, where they claimed that the installation of these features would reduce risk.  In fact, subsequent research found that deaths and injuries from automobiles continued to increase worldwide, and are now skyrocketing.  In recent testimony in Washington, former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona reported, “No matter what you may hear today or read in press reports later, I cannot conclude that driving a new Subaru Forester, with all-wheel drive and computerized traction control, eight airbags, and a roll-cage-like reinforced chassis, is a safer alternative to a rusted-out 1971 Pinto.”

The new rule will bring all governments into alignment with FCTC policy.  FCTC has always had a policy of forbidding involvement by the industry or automotive consumers, having recognized that perfect policy can only be made if interference by all the real stakeholders is avoided.  Delegates are encouraged to never so much as converse with to anyone who considers motorized transport to be beneficial to people’s welfare, except in the context of clinical interventions.

FCTC recognizes that the industry will probably mobilize their front-groups to protest these rules, using their usual misleading language about “free choice” and “honest science”.  The industry has a long history of creating fake grassroots support to claim that people simply prefer to drive in spite of the risks.  But secret industry documents have revealed that every single person who expresses interest in cars is secretly in the pay of the industry.

Delegate, Michael Myers, CEO of the Campaign for Travel-Forbidden Kids, responded to these claims by industry-funded critics:  “Individuals are persuaded by paid industry shills like Bruce Springsteen to consider cars to be cool or a way to look grown up.  People who start driving as children become slaves to the industry.  Almost none of them ever again go without owning a car after they become addicted.  Motorized transport is far more addictive than heroin or even smoking.  The only way to keep people from driving is to stop the industry from enticing them to start.”

This move by the FCTC follows on important anti-traffic efforts in several member states.  The proposed Traffic Products Directive in the European Union would prevent any personal vehicle (PV) from traveling at faster than 30 kph (equivalent to 18.6 mph or 4 mg/ml).  The US Department of Transportation requires that any automotive products either be “substantially equivalent” to technology that existed in 1980 and that any innovative products cannot be sold until 20 years of real-world data that proves their safety is accumulated.

The adoption of the new rule follows yesterday’s FCTC resolution to demand that governments devote all taxes collected on automobiles and gasoline, and other traffic-related taxes to anti-traffic efforts.  Only 0.000185% of such taxes are given to anti-traffic QUANGOs, which drastically reduces the potential income of FCTC delegates.  Indeed, the vast majority of the collections are devoted to maintaining roads and other actions that encourage driving, further evidence that governments are too heavily influenced by Big Auto.  A related proposal, to demand the elimination of all depictions of automobiles in movies and television, based on the claim that it causes 483,921.4 children to start driving each year, was rejected as being too wackadoodle for even the FCTC.

The FCTC is an international treaty, with 183 signatory countries (which include 22 who actively wanted to sign, in addition to those who were blackmailed into it with threats of losing WHO funding).  They are currently meeting in a 5-star resort hotel, thanks to revenue generated from a collection of extremely regressive taxes.

 Press Contact: FCTC Secretariat, fax (yes, we really still do have a fax machine): +41 22 791 5830, or for those living in this century:  fctcsecretariat@who.int

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14 responses to “Press Release: FCTC demands governments, researchers avoid talking to automotive industry

  1. Konstantinos Farsalinos

    Nice conception Carl!
    My congratulations!!

  2. Elaine Keller

    I’m sure that the reason Carl needed to divert his attention to the global Traffic situation is that the Anti-THR (“Quit or Die”) contingent take their annual break from lying on this special day, so there were no anti-THR lies to serve as topics today.

  3. So obsurd, April fool??

  4. BAHAHAHAHAHA

  5. Pingback: Press Release: FCTC demands governments, researchers avoid talking to automotive industry | Tobacco Harm Reduction | Scoop.it

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  7. This is an April’s Fool joke?

  8. Easy job!
    Just changed few words from a “real” statement
    Great!

  9. The auto-addicted are among the most consistent of denialists on the face of the planet. Any arguments posed to limit their abuse of our planet’s resources are immediately met with obviously false claims of “necessity” that fly in the face of a reality that less than a single century in the past, 99% of the world’s population had never driven. They demand the “right” to continue flattening our children and ripping our Tender Toddlers to Threads under the wheels of their Detroit Death Machines while polluting our air and depleting our resources. They coast along without a safety break on a tax-rate of product less than 10% that paid by responsible citizens such as smokers, and meanwhile, in seeking “replacement drivers” for those who have died, they glorify car chases in movies — with rarely a single mangled body involved.

    There can be no justification for private car ownership. Emergency and police vehicles can be granted exemptions, and the disabled can be accommodated by limited taxi services. With the large-scale removal of private vehicular transport from our streets, our children will once again be free to play in the roads and keep their health up by riding bicycles. It’s even likely that we’ll begin to see the large scale return to bicycle transport by an adult population that will begin to lose those “spare tires” around their midsections and on their butts!

    Very few Americans realize that the Democratic Party is actually a front group for a cartel of Big Auto, Big Oil, and Firestone Rubber. Check out the history of Chicago’s Mayor Daley and cronies and the creation of the Uber-Cartel, National City Lines, in 1920. By the time its plots were exposed and the companies convicted and fined in courts (General Motors was clobbered with a $5,000 fine, and its chief executive slammed with a $1 that he spent the rest of his life paying off.) they had succeeded in purchasing, destroying, and ripping up over 80% of the light-rail mass transit systems in the country. See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_City_Lines

    for the sordid details of this real-life story.

    The first few years of a real switch over from an auto-addicted society will be difficult. People will resist and the industry swings a powerful lobbying club. Step-by-step educational and motivational tactics CAN succeed in defeating them though:

    1) Set a level-playing-field for auto and tobacco taxation at a total tax rate of $5 per gallon or pack rate nationwide. This will slightly reduce cigarette taxes but will have a wonderfully ecological impact on gasoline taxes.

    2) Films displaying more than three one-minute segments with depictions of, or inferences to, private automobiles or roadways will be given an X-17 rating.

    3) Parking for schools, hospitals, and government buildings will be prohibited within a 1-mile radius of buildings. This will not only ensure clean air in such environments but will encourage healthy levels of exercise. Walking and cycling are two of the most beneficial aerobic activities known to humankind, and bicycling is actually the single most efficient and non-polluting form of directed transport (energy units expended versus mass/distance units achieved) known to exist in the animal kingdom: bicycling for one mile produces less than 1/4 (and sometimes less than 1/100th!) the carbon dioxide emissions of walking that same mile, not to mention the comparison with driving!

    4) Remove the scandal of “Driver Education” classes from our schools. Enabling the auto-addiction of our children is a crime, and those seeking to seduce them behind the wheel should be jailed … or executed.

    As we cycle into a new society our children and our world will thank us.

    Join AATTAACK! (Americans Against The Tobacco, Alcohol, And Car Killers) as we move forward in supporting Carl Phillips and the FCTC!

    – MJM

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  13. Something needs to be done about Big Air. Governments should be prohibited from talking with huge air polluters of the scale of these transnational airlines. When will the WHO do something about it.

    In fact it is simpler than this: governments need to be prevented from any interaction with Big I. Transnational Industries are killing us with their global warming, air pollution and addictive products. Only the WHO can save us now. All communications with Industry should be made through the WHO or a similar org. The taxes generated by these transnationals should be regularised by and paid through a new FCTC-WHO-UN organisation set up to insulate the state from industry, before it kills us all.

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