Thursday, 14 June 2018

The EU's taxpayer-funded racket

FOREST EU have recently published an interesting report about the army of NGOs in Brussels who exist solely to make smokers' lives miserable. You won't be surprised to hear that they are mainly funded by the EU (ie. by taxpayers). The four most vociferous anti-tobacco groups are shown below:

This is a racket, as the report suggests...

...the European Commission is proposing a particular policy framework and then funding groups to lobby them for the introduction of those very same policies.

The sums involved are far from trivial. The four groups listed above get more than €1.5 million a year between them and millions more are dished out to other supposedly 'non-governmental' organisations with similar agendas.

For example, I was interested to see that a group called TackSHS gets 100 per cent of its €750,000 budget from the EU. Their mission seems to be to get smoking banned in every conceivable place. Ever ready for the next logical step, they have moved beyond SHS (secondhand smoke) and are now looking at 'e-cigarette emission exposure'. In one of several studies they presented at the recent anti-tobacco conference in Cape Town, they claim that such secondhand vapour 'contains various toxic chemicals' and 'has potential adverse health effects in non users'. Your tax money at work.
This racket isn't confined to anti-smoking zealots, of course. As I outlined in Europuppets, single-issue campaigners of every hue can fill their pockets with our money so long as they say what the European Commission wants to hear. Can we leave yet?

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