April 10th 2004

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Economic underclass behind marriage and fertility decline

EDITORIAL: Uncommunicative patients - a call on our compassion

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Latham Iraq gaffe signals the honeymoon is over

STRAWS IN THE WIND: The next Four Corners? / Granada

SOCIETY: Who benefits from drugs?

AGRICULTURE: Farmers rallying to fight for industries

ECONOMY: Australia's foreign debt set to grow

The Passion (letter)

Sugar prices (letter)

Tobacco and pharmaceuticals (letter)

Ageing population (letter)

ETHICS: The ethical responsibility of a Christian politician

ECONOMY: US-Australia Free trade agreement and the national interest

TAIWAN ELECTION: Saved by commonsense

PAKISTAN: Inside Pakistan's nuclear weapons program

HONG KONG: Poll battle looms over democratic reforms

BOOKS: Benign or Imperial? Reflections on American Hegemony, by Owen Harries

FILM REVIEW: The Last Samurai

Books promotion page

Tobacco and pharmaceuticals (letter)

by Tom King

News Weekly, April 10, 2004

The fine editorial "Don't Torch the Sugar Industry" (NW, February 28), was complemented by letters from Margaret Menzel and Alan Barron.

Regrettably, the sound logic will have no impact, unless the NCC harnesses its considerable influence, and obtain pledges from all political hopefuls seeking our collective support.

For example, tobacco farmers have been sacrificed on the altar of rationalism and manipulation. Yet only one Senator, Len Harris of One Nation, considered the success of a USA tobacco initiative worth pursuing. Three other parties ignored the information.

Florida University pioneered the successful production of the blood serum, Interferon, with tobacco as the host plant. Numerous other organic compounds have since been trialled and successfully tested.

The tobacco plant, that is being ploughed in the soil of the so-called "Smart State", has been converted into a virtual pharmaceutical factory.

It appears that, yet again, political and media bias have euthanased a potential saviour for a proven primary industry.

Tom King,
Elanor, Qld

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