Read the Bills Act Coalition

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Golden Leaf - The taboo that's not taboo...

...since it's stil LEGAL to smoke in America...VCU has nothing to be ashamed about in their partnership with Phillip Morris. Just found this article all smoke (pun intended) and mirrirs and had to share. From Richmond.com:

Virginia Commonwealth University's ties to tobacco research date back as far as the 1930s and '40s -- the days when the now-defunct American Tobacco Co. wore a smoky halo. Soldiers fighting the Germans and Japanese preferred the company's Lucky Strike filterless cigarettes made in Richmond, and the Tobacco Festival parades down Broad Street featured such marquee celebrities such as Frank Sinatra.... Times have changed since then, as the deadly effects of cigarette smoking became well known. While Richmonders don't celebrate the golden leaf like they once did, they still regard tobacco companies with a less jaundiced eye than other Americans. After all, two of the regions' leading corporate citizens are Philip Morris USA, the largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States, and Universal Corp., one of the world's largest independent traders of tobacco leaf....At VCU, tobacco is anything but taboo. President Eugene P. Trani, who serves on the Universal board of directors, worked out plans with Philip Morris to provide "accommodations for smokers" in 1991 in all VCU buildings but the medical school. The university takes pride in its ties to tobacco. A 2006 "Campaign for VCU" fund-raising report praised Philip Morris as an "old friend" for its $2.2 million for VCU's business and engineering schools and smaller grants to help students with career choices...."The School of Engineering is most fortunate to have such a long-standing relationship with Philip Morris USA," said Dr. Robert Mattauch, engineering school dean, in the report.


Read Here: http://www.richmond.com/business/24784

Check out the debate on this very subject over at Bacon's Febellion: http://baconsrebellion.blogspot.com/

5 comments:

Tyler Craddock said...

When you read the article, I especially like the part about how some of the choose to remain anonymous -- that's right faceless, nameless critics attacking VCU and Philip Morris about "openness" and "transparency"

...hypocrites

Jody L. Wilcox said...

Exactly, have you seen the research center? It has Phillip Morris on the building in big black block letters so I find it hard to believe that VCU and Phillip Morris are hiding anything....

Tyler Craddock said...

One point though that I will grant the folks on the VCU faculty is that anyone should be free to criticize the deal. If there truly is an atmosphere where folks feel like they would lose their jobs for speaking their minds, then that is an issue that needs to be addressed, albeit an issue separate and apart from any concerns over PM-funded research.

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Anonymous said...

What you "conservatives" seem not to get is that the scientific research elite in this country simply won't take tobacco money.
They won't enter into secret deals with firms such as Philip Morris USA.
And now VCU itself admits the secrecy was wrong.
Maybe you best go back into your little Jeffersonian fantasy worlds and ignore the changing environment around you.