Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has today expressed her anger at the decision to delay the plenary vote for the Tobacco Products Directive until October.
Martina Anderson said:
"Those elected representatives in the European Parliament who have chosen to acquiesce to the tobacco industry's interests should be embarrassed. It is clear that the decision of the three right-wing groups, including Jim Nicholson’s Conservative group, to join forces to block a vote at next week's plenary has played straight into the tobacco industry's hands. As the end of the parliamentary mandate rapidly approaches, time is running out to finalise a deal on this crucial piece of legislation.
“When I took up my seat in the European Parliament, one of my first contributions was to question the relationship between lobbyists for major commercial interests and MEP’s.While a new code of conduct was introduced I do not believe that it was comprehensive enough. This latest action by right-wing groups would tend to validate my contention that relationships are still too cosy and public health is being sacrificed at the behest of Tobacco Industry lobbyists.
"Tobacco companies have always promoted a policy of delaying any legislation which seeks to address the devastating effects the use of tobacco products has on public health. Those colleagues who have chosen to side with this industry which causes a shocking 700,000 deaths in Europe every year, should be truly ashamed."