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.
- FOR YOUR EXPEDITED CONSIDERATION: Australia/New Zealand – Mandatory Labelling Proposal for Alcohol Beverages: The New Zealand Government notified the World Trade Organisation’s Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee regarding a mandatory pregnancy labelling proposal for alcohol beverages. (See also a similar TBT notification made by the Australian Government (G/TBT/N/AUS/112). We are sharing a draft letter for those who wish to have their governments oppose these measures.
- WHO Comments: FIVS sought comments last week for its submission to the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding its Discussion paper for the Web-based Consultation on the Implementation of the WHO Global Strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol since its endorsement and the way forward. FIVS submitted the following comments on 04 November 2019 and would like to thank all of those who commented on the draft submission.
- OECD Report Released: The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) just issued its Health Report at a Glance 2019. According to sales information, the document describes a 13% drop between 2007 and 2017 in alcohol consumption per capita in the 27 OECD countries. With no evidence, the report further observes that moderate drinking increases the risk of diseases such as liver cirrhosis. We would like to thank the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking for pointing out the release of this study.
- France – Climate Change Has an Impact: This article should be of interest as it discusses at length how hotter and drier weather is having an impact on all aspects of winemaking. These changes are, among other things, leading to higher alcohol levels (requiring the use of new yeasts), new plants growing between vines, and different practices in removing vine leaves before harvest. See also this article discussing how climate change is a “game changer” for the wine industry.
- South Korea – Possible Discriminatory Recycling Regulations: In our Alert on 24 September 2019, FIVS reported that South Korea had notified the World Trade Organisation about a potentially discriminatory draft regulation on recycling. Under this proposal, the South Korean Government would rank food containers from “acceptable” to “not recyclable” and containers would be judged according to the least recyclable element. (See this helpful summary.) We would like to provide you with the latest documentation on this matter, as well as this statement by the European Container Glass Federation.
- United Kingdom – The Latest on Health Effects of Alcohol: In our 30 October 2019 Alert, we noted press reports about the latest study linking alcohol consumption with an increased risk of cancer. This week, The British Liver Trust issued a warning of a significant increase in liver cancer in the United Kingdom during the past ten years due to alcohol and unhealthy lifestyles.
- India – A Study on Cancer: This article describes how the incidence of cancer cases, including oral, cervical, and breast cancer, increased by over 300 percent in India between 2017 and 2018, reportedly attributable to alcohol among other causes. This piece contends, among other things, that there is no safe level of drinking.
- European Union – New Resources: The European Union recently launched a new wine market observatory that will contain a wide array of market data such as prices, production, and trade. The EU also plans for this resource to include the views of market experts who will discuss commercial issues relating to wine.
- Ireland – Penalties Go Along with the new Alcohol Bill: The new Irish alcohol law has led to strict measures such as fines of €5,000 to €250,000 or six months to three years in prison for those advertising alcohol within 200 metres of a school. As of 12 November 2019, alcohol advertising on public transport, at bus stops, or in stations will also be prohibited. Under the Public Health Alcohol Bill, which the Dáil passed last year, alcohol advertising in cinemas will also be banned with few exceptions.
- United States – Update on Pennsylvania’s Sales of Alcohol: State senators are again tackling issues regarding whether and how to expand liquor sales in Pennsylvania. This piece discusses how Pennsylvania’s policy on alcohol is thought to be “out of balance,” including distortions in sales. Controversy surrounds a movement toward private-sector sales of spirits, while maintaining the existing state store system.
- Uzbekistan – The Government Hikes the Minimum Prices for Alcohol: The Uzbek Ministry of Justice has revised the minimum wholesale and retail prices for alcohol beverages, setting new minimum wholesale and retail prices. There is a growing, world-wide trend by governments to adopt a minimum price approach, as is evident now also in the case of Kenya.