The Republic of Peru hosted a conference in Lima, Peru last week reviewing legal actions taken against Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. and other U.S. tobacco companies, and is considering similar actions.

The actions allege that the companies have conspired to conceal scientific and medical information about the health risks associated with their tobacco products.

Last week George Fleming of the Houston-based law firm Fleming & Associates, which represents Georgia’s Union Health and Welfare Fund, spoke to Latin American health care officials at the Peruvian national Anti-Tobacco Convention, held in the conference center of PetroPeru, the Peruvian oil company, about these legal actions.

Should Peru file such a suit, it would join the republics of Guatemala and Nicaragua in accusing the companies that they concealed the information for the sole purpose of ensuring, maintaining and maximizing their profits.  The governments of Brazil and Panama also have announced their intention to file similar suits.

Brown & Williamson has a large plant in Macon and Georgia is the nation’s sixth-largest producer of tobacco.  Last year’s tobacco crop was worth nearly $153 million to Georgia farmers.

For more information, call D’Lisa R. Simmons at 1 (800) 654-7139.