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We, the Irish Cancer Society, have noted the article ‘Cigarette pack codes to tackle illicit trade’ (Irish Examiner, February 4) and the quote from a representative of Customs ‘welcoming’ the tobacco industry-funded Codentify system.
This quote contradicts a statement by the Revenue Commissioners to the Oireachtas. Codentify is a visible code developed and patented by a tobacco company, Philip Morris International. The company says that Codentify is “a unique, secure […] 12-digit code printed directly onto packs and cartons during manufacturing”.
Philip Morris is ‘donating’ money to organisations and agencies, such as Interpol, to promote Codentify. This is a conflict of interest. At a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children on January 23, Gerard Moran, of the Revenue Commissioners, was asked if a system developed by the tobacco industry is compromised. He said: “Public policy on this [smuggling] issue needs to be settled by the various public bodies and Departments concerned. We are not particularly interested, therefore, in engaging with tobacco interests on it.”
Head of Advocacy & Communications
Irish Cancer Society
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