WASHINGTON -- The makers of Barclay brand cigarettes are accusing the Federal Trade Commission of injustice because of the way the agency aired a tobacco industry dispute about their product.
Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp. said Wednesday the FTC's semiannual report on the tar and nicotine content of cigarettes simply repeated charges that competing companies have made against Barclay without giving the other side of the story.
The FTC in its report Tuesday said it was investigating allegations by other tobacco companies that the filter on Barclay cigarettes tricks the agency's mechanical smoking machines into recording a lower tar content than the human smoker actually gets.
Barclay tested out at 1 milligram of tar -- right behind the leading low tar brands that had less than 0.5 mg of both tar and nicotine.
Both R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., the industry sales leader, and Philip Morris Inc., No. 2 in sales, have asked the FTC to investigate the Barclay filter that is made up of a series of grooves that send air into the mouth, mixing it there with smoke from the cigarette.
Other filters work with a series of pinholes in the side of the filter that mix air with the smokestream while it is still inside the filter.
The FTC has made no decision about the flap.
A company lawyer said the FTC, by not telling his firm's side of the story, committed an 'outrageous injustice' and engaged in a 'classic incidence of bureaucratic bungling.'
He said Brown and Williamson has submitted tests to the FTC showing how the filter works, and has conducted independent studies confirming that the brand delivers the same amount of tar to the smoker as the FTC machines report.