Monday, April 16, 2012

After Ukraine, its Honduras - Australia's tobacco plain packaging challenged

Honduras Tobacco Field - Honduran Cigar Plantation
(photo: Tobacco field at Rancho Jamastran in Danli, Honduras)

After Ukraine it was the turn of Honduras to challenge the Australian Tobacco Plain Packaging measure. The WTO website reported that Honduras had requested for consultations with Australia under the dispute settlement system concerning the latter’s certain measures concerning trademark and other plain packaging requirements applicable to tobacco products and packaging.

In this press release Honduras stated that plain packaging is not an appropriate measure to address smoking prevalence and not in conformity with Australia's WTO obligations. It also justified the request on the ground that the tobacco industry has been part of Honduras' history for more than half a century and that Australia's measure would affect domestic employment both directly and indirectly.

Is the Honduras measure guided by factors external to its domestic concerns? Benn Mcgrady in this blog piece raises some contradiction between Honduras' local legislation relating to tobacco control and its international position. Conflicting, complex interests?

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