Magazine article The Nation

The Insider Outs Tobacco

Magazine article The Nation

The Insider Outs Tobacco

Article excerpt

On screen and off, the tobacco industry is still up to its old rotten tricks. In November the Michael Mann/Disney docudrama, The Insider, was launched in the United States to robust reviews. The film chronicles the tribulations of Jeffrey Wigand, the former chief scientist for the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation who committed the cardinal corporate sin of telling the courts and 60 Minutes about the company's lies about the immense harm its products cause.

Michael Gambon, the potent British actor, has only a very short role in The Insider, but it is at the heart of the film's darkness. He plays former B&W chief executive Thomas Sandefur. And who will not shudder as Gambon/Sandefur first coldly threatens, then ruthlessly unleashes his lawyers and more shadowy agents to make Wigand's life a gantlet of harassments.

On November 5 in San Francisco the real Jeffrey Wigand appeared at a joint press conference with Dr. Derek Yach of the World Health Organization's Tobacco Free Initiative. WHO, now under the strong leadership of Norwegian public health physician and former Prime Minister Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, has launched an ambitious plan to develop an international Framework Convention on Tobacco Control-a binding treaty setting standards to control the marketing aggression of B&W and its fellow transnational tobacco companies. In counterpoint to Wigand's recitation of the tobacco industry's past and current efforts to subvert tobacco control efforts in the United States, Yach detailed an extraordinary step taken recently by Dr. Brundtland: She has launched an investigation into evidence that the transnational tobacco companies have long conspired to subvert UN efforts to control the world epidemic caused by tobacco.

This evidence was unearthed with the help of private lawyers who made it possible for former Minnesota Attorney General Hubert Humphrey 3d to force Sandefur's company and the other tobacco malfeasors to make secret industry records public-the same records that proved Wigand was telling the truth. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.