Philip Morris Worldwide Regulatory Affairs

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

The Worldwide Regulatory Affairs (WRA) division of Philip Morris (PM) was a multinational hybrid, combining staff from PM USA (the domestic division) and Philip Morris International (PMI). It also attempted to put into one division people with many different functions.

PM WRA grew out of the Worldwide Tobacco Regulatory Issues division of PM USA, under Ted Lattanzio, and Philip Morris's Tobacco Action Team. It was designed to manage and direct Philip Morris Corporate Affairs, and legal and scientific support for Philip Morris's positions on secondhand smoke, nicotine content, ignition propensity and potential regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Purpose and objective

A 1995 PM Worldwide Regulatory Affairs 5 Year Plan (1995-1999) states the purpose of WRA:

Worldwide Regulatory Affairs was established as a central resource to ensure that Corporate Affairs staff worldwide are in the best possible position to meet the [environmental tobacco smoke] threat by developing the strategies and providing the resources to address smoking restrictions globally.

The objective of WRA is to "Provide timely support to regional and local Corporate Affairs staff to help them develop and execute plans and programs which will prevent bans and unreasonable restrictions and/or encourage moderate policies."[1]

History

WRA was cobbled together in June 1994 [2] and it ran independently for a few years, but it was not a success.

Initially it was placed under Steven C. Parrish's executive control. Parrish was PM USA's chief legal executive and lobbyist, and this speech in 1997 outlines the division's concept:

We see ourselves as a multidisciplinary in-house consulting group that marshals the company's resources -- both internal and external -- to address significant regulatory issues.
We focus on issues that have a scientific or technical component such as environmental tobacco smoke, ingredients, alleged carcinogens in food, and the need for sound science as it relates to our various products. [3]

Initially the WRA was headed by Marc S. Firestone, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, and it worked in close cooperation with:

They had staff located in key cities in the U.S. including New York and Richmond (US manufacturing), and abroad in Lausanne and Neuchatel (both Switzerland) and in Hong Kong.

In January 1996, Geoff Bible folded it into the Corporate Affairs Divison of Philip Morris Management Corporation (the corporate group -- essentially PMI), but they continued to use the name WRA for some time after.

Threats and Functions

The two main threats that the WRA focussed on in 1997 were the possibility that the FDA would regulate cigarettes as a drug delivery system, and that a long-term study by the International Agency for Research into Cancer, (IARC, a subsidiary of the World Health Organization) would find strong evidence of the health hazards of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

Other significant problem areas were airline smoking, flavoring ingredients blended with the tobacco (kept secret by the companies, but potentially cancerous), and regulatory threats to Kraft's foodstuffs.

The main functions of the WRA division were:

  • coordinating and planning on key regulatory issues
  • collecting and disseminating information
  • developing position papers, background analyses relating to scientific issues, and other materials.
  • collecting and indexing important documents, like regulatory filings, articles, and other specialized filings
  • handling opinion research and intelligence gathering, including through the Internet and other electronic sources.

Personnel in 1994-5

Personnel in 1997

Articles and resources

Related Sourcewatch resources

Sources

  1. Philip Morris Worldwide Regulatory Affairs Five Year Plan 950000-990000 ETS Strategy Report, outline. March, 1995. 21 pp. Bates No.2051824379/4398
  2. Steve Parrish announces Ted Lattanzio as Director Worldwide Tobacco Regulatory Issues in PM USA Parrish SC. Philip Morris. Announcement/report; July 13, 1993. Bates No. 2065430082/0083.
  3. WRA Presentation Philip Morris. Speech/presentation. 1995. Bates No. 2046385359/5372

External resources

External articles

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