“In his historic maiden speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, US President Barack Obama challenged the rich and developed nations of the world to do everything in their power to right the climatic imbalances created as a result of their rise to economic power and prosperity.
“In the same sense, the Addiction Action Campaign challenges the liquor, pharmaceutical, pornography, gambling and tobacco industries to plough back adequately measured profits into reducing the harm that unavoidably continues to accrue as a result of their legitimate business operations. Addiction is the unfortunate, but very serious side effect of the legitimate businesses of these industries. The AAC stresses that it is not opposed in any sense to the rightful business activities of these industries.
“However, the lack of investment by these wealthy companies and multinational groups in harm reduction is tantamount to not cleaning up after oneself. In the same way as our planet has now become critically endangered as a result of the operations of businesses and, indeed, entire nations such as the United States, and it now falls to those nations especially to clean up the damage caused, so it falls to industries whose operations lead to the crises of addiction to invest in reducing the harmful effects they leave in their wake.
“The importance of cleaning up after ourselves is poignantly underlined on Heritage Day. This is, by definition, the time when each and every South African should examine, not only the path we have walked to this point, but the inheritance we wish to bequeath to future generations. Industries whose businesses lead to the danger of addiction are not excluded from this intense introspection. Indeed their responsibilities are the greater for it.
“The Addiction Action Campaign challenges these industries to invest meaningfully in reducing the effects of their business activities.”
Statement by, Warren Whitfield, Chairperson, The Addiction Action Campaign.