A genetically-engineered tobacco patented and produced* by DNA Plant Technology, a biotechnology firm working for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Inc–B&W, which contains > 6% nicotine, a level that is nearly double that of comparable tobacco.
Y1 seeds were shipped to Brazil, planted, harvested, and shipped back to the US “…cigarette makers have long known not only that nicotine is addictive, but also that it possesses other pharmacologic–tranquilizing properties. Such data help establish the manufacturers’ “intent” in controlling nicotine…Intent is important because–US federal law defines a drug as anything “intended to affect the structure or function of the body.”
Deliberately manipulating cigarette recipes to provide smokers with what manufacturers knew to be a pharmacologically active, addictive substance would amount to selling a drug, which would then make the FDA responsible for its regulation Science News 1994; 146:7, 30
*Using various breeding techniques including anther and tissue culture, hybrid sorting and protoplast fusion; deliberate manipulation of the nicotine content of tobacco–e.g., by breeding special high-nicotine tobacco or by adding ammonia to the cigarettes which increases nicotine transfer efficiency or bioavailability could have opened a legal loophole that would allow public health officials to regulate an industry that has long been viewed as “above the law’; B&W has used Y1 as a “blending tool” to maintain the nicotine, while reducing the tar in cigarettes American Medical News 25/12/95, p5