Wednesday, August 01, 2007

From the What-The-Hey? Department:

From this AP article, in which we learn the Senate is moving (once again) to put tobacco under the FDA's jurisdiction; but we also learn the following:

The committee adopted an amendment by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., that would ban clove cigarettes, reversing a controversial decision by Kennedy to allow the FDA to make that decision.

Kennedy, the panel's chairman, said he was responding to several senators who contacted him with concerns that a ban on cloves would not be compliant with World Trade Organization rules. But Kennedy agreed to the ban after several senators objected.

Most cloves are marketed in Asia, and Philip Morris, a unit of New York-based Altria Group Inc., recently launched a Marlboro cigarette flavored with cloves in Indonesia.

Kennedy said at the meeting that Philip Morris had "nothing to do with our decision" and he supported the clove ban as long as it is WTO compliant.

This doesn't make sense on so many levels. I think the "Marlboro cloves launched in Indonesia" is a red herring caused by bad copywriting. My guess is that the point of the clove ban is because Marlboro doesn't make money on cloves in the US--you know, where the ban would take place--which really makes the rest of the article make a lot more sense. Because otherwise: is there some extensive "ban cloves but not tobacco cigarettes" lobby I've never heard of before?

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