Letter: Smoke signals

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your report, "Tobacco firms suffer worst legal defeat" (8 July), quotes a figure of $200bn as compensation sought for people who have suffered from the effects of tobacco products. This may pale into insignificance in comparison with the figures that may be claimed 10 or 15 years hence in damages for the effects of food which has been genetically tampered with.

If companies are to be allowed to play fast and loose with the public's health, then governments must ensure that they are able to pay, if and when the time comes.

PETER RUTHERFORD

London NW6

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