FOR YOUR INFORMATION
We share below a number of recent developments. As always, we rely on FIVS Members to apprise us of noteworthy matters. Please contact the FIVS Secretariat with items that may be of interest.
- Codex Alimentarius Submission: Following the 28 November 2019 Alert, FIVS submitted the following comments to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) on 29 November 2019. FIVS would like to thank those members who helped prepare these comments and those who sent us views.
- Irish Public Health (Alcohol) Act Submission: Following the 19 November 2019 Alert, FIVS submitted these comments on the the draft Regulations 2019 on “Sale and Supply of Alcohol Products” under the Irish Public Health (Alcohol) Act (2019/423/IRL) to the European Commission on 25 November 2019. FIVS would like to thank those members who helped prepare these comments and those who sent us views.
- Australia – Restrictive Alcohol and Tobacco Policies Putatively Curb Cancer Death Rates: It was recently reported that according to The La Trobe Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR), alcohol and tobacco control policies are successfully reducing cancer death rates. More specifically, this study claims that policies aimed at curbing alcohol and tobacco consumption, including the introduction of random breath testing programs and prohibitions on cigarette advertising, had resulted in a significant reduction in Australian cancer death rates. [Note: we are not attesting to the validity of the study’s findings as we are unsure of how these conclusions have been validated.]
- Belgium – Plans to Ban Alcohol Consumption as of 2020: Drinking alcohol may be prohibited in central Brussels within what is termed the pedestrian zone from midnight to 06:00 for a six-month test period as of 01 February. Alcohol consumption in bars, authorised terraces and during official events would continue to be fully legal. This measure was introduced in an effort to combat lawlessness related to excessive alcohol consumption in the area around the Brussels Stock Exchange. The Brussels municipal council will vote soon on the new measure.
- Ireland – The Health Minister Calls into Question Industry Involvement in School Education: Minister of Health Simon Harris has characterised the situation in which the alcohol beverage sector is apprising youth about the dangers associated with alcohol as “completely and utterly bizarre.” He took this position in the context of the launch of a new resource for teachers focused on the risks associated with alcohol and drugs. According to this article, Ireland has the third highest level of adolescent binge drinking in the world.
- Grape and Blueberry Extracts Reportedly Have Beneficial Effects: This article reports on how grape and blueberry extracts have polyphenols, which are micronutrients and which can result in better mental focus and can serve to enhance one’s memory.
- The Societal Costs of Alcohol: In this piece associated with Ramboll Management Consulting, the social costs associated with alcohol are significant. The article describes evident, as well as hidden costs, such as children who feel unsafe because of excessive consumption in the household, those who are exposed to violence where alcohol is involved, and those who die prematurely due to alcohol-related illnesses and accidents.
ECONOMIC & SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
- The Czech Republic – The WHO Representative Urges the Czech Government to Curb Alcohol Consumption More Actively: On 27 November, the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative reportedly urged the Czech Republic to more actively curb alcohol consumption along the lines of actions taken regarding the tobacco sector. He recommended measures such as restricted availability, limited advertising, and price increases. According to statistics published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the piece claims that the Czech Republic is one of the largest per-capita consumers of alcohol in the world.
- European Union – Spirits Industry Calls for the Re-Establishment of the Parliamentary Intergroup: SpiritsEUROPE Director General Ulrich Adam has called for the re-establishment of the Parliamentary Intergroup so as to enhance the understanding of the cultural, traditional, and economic importance of spirits and wine among European Parliamentarians. The trade body has emphasised that this step would create a forum for the discussion of suitable policies by strengthening the dialogue between industry and government.