STATEMENT REGARDING CALL MADE DURING
2007 ALTRIA SHAREHOLDERS MEETING & CEO RESPONSE
( April 26, 2007)
the Q & A portion of the 2007 Altria Shareholder Meeting in East
Hanover, New Jersey, Anna White, Coordinator of Essential Action's Global
Partnerships for Tobacco Control program, made a statement regarding
the call to goverments:
Good morning, Mr.Camilleri. My name is Anna White. I'm the Coordinator
of Essential Action's Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control Program.
I'm here today with Dina Kania of Indonesia, and over 100 youth from
15 different states around the US here inside the meeting and outside.
Last year, more than 100 public health groups around the world called
on Altria and Philip Morris to adopt steps to prevent the break-up
of Philip Morris from worsening the global tobacco epidemic. The company
refused to agree to these demands. This year, public health advocates
are calling on governments to effectively quarantine Altria/Philip
Morris, the world's largest multi-national tobacco company by passing
legislation to stop the spread of the global tobacco pandemic.
concern is that the proposed break-up of Philip Morris poses the risk
that Philip Morris International will become even more effective at
spreading its toxic products and independent Philip Morris International,
which is likely to be based in Switzerland, will no longer feel constrained
by public opinion or the possibility of domestic regulation or litigation
in its home country and most important market, United States.
That company says it supports comprehensive tobacco control legislation
in the US and overseas, but its' actions such as in Indonesia and elsewhere,
make clear its true commitments. And you ask for evidence. And if any
of you -- if anybody wants to see evidence, go to www.philipmorrisbreakup.org/worldtour.
Earlier this year, Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that PMI should be prohibited
from using misleading terms like light, mild and low. Did the new, "new"
Philip Morris acknowledge how it used these terms to deceive smokers
and agree to abide by the ruling? No. It is challenging the judge's
order. This company must be stopped from spreading its poison, especially
in the developing world, where it hopes to expand its deadly business.
And I don't really have a question, because I've been here long enough
-- enough of this meetings to know that this company's actions after
the meetings speak much louder than your words during it. Thank you,
CAMILLERI: Thank you. I think that I've addressed a lot of what
you've said. If you looked at what you've said, intellectually, it doesn't
make any sense. We've tried to have a dialog with you. Even Hurwitz,
who is Head of Corporate Affairs at Philip Morris International has
written to you twice, has asked to meet with you. And so far, you haven't
really responded in terms of being able to meet.
I think also, you should get your facts right before you start trying
to alarm the world. And I think your comment is a major insult to Switzerland.