An umbrella group of more than 35 national consumer organizations expressed concern over the growing influence of foreign grants on health regulators that may adversely affect the campaign to reduce the harm caused by combustible cigarettes in low- and middle-income countries including the Philippines.

The International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organizations cited the influence exerted by non-government organizations backed by Bloomberg Initiative on regulators, such as the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration.

“There is also an element of corruption aided by the Bloomberg NGOs, who are co-opting tobacco policy through the sheer force of money. The legislators in Philippines recently questioned the conflict of interest in their FDA receiving funds from these NGOs while pushing anti-vaping policy,” Samrat Chowdhery, president of INNCO and a leading tobacco harm reduction advocate, said during the recent virtual presentation of “Burning Issues: The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction 2020” published by UK public health agency Knowledge Action Change.

See complete article at Manila Standard Business November 18, 2020