//Notable Policy Developments Around the World – 15 January 2020

Notable Policy Developments Around the World – 15 January 2020


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.


  • Australia – Forest Fires: As touched upon in FIVS’ 07 January Alert, the Australian wine sector is organising to offer support to the industry by first understanding better the  impact of the bush fires on wineries. Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said that in some regions of South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, individual vineyards and wineries “had suffered devastating damage which would take years to recover, and local regions and the sector more broadly would step in to assist.” Please click HERE for an assessment of the situation and how you might help (see also this piece).
  • FIVS Secretariat News: We welcome Karen Geronimo, who is replacing Clea Prieto Perosanz in the FIVS Secretariat. Karen comes to us from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, a specialised agency of the United Nations based in Paris, France. She will be based in the FIVS office, which is now located at 1, cour du Havre, 75008 Paris. We want to thank Clea for her tireless and superb work over the past four years. Please feel free to reach out to Clea and Karen (kgeronimo@fivslive.org) this week.
  • New Wine Institute Website: As discussed in this press item, Wine Institute has launched a new website at www.wineinstitute.org. This site shares its public policy work at the state, federal, and international levels, and also offers a wealth of wine-related industry information.



  • Drinking and Driving
  • International Organisations
    • The SDG Indicator on Alcohol May Be Changed: The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.5.2 on alcohol may be revised. A German proposal, supported by the World Health Organisation, would reportedly change the focus of the indicator name from being on “harmful use of alcohol” to “consumption per se.”
  • Responsible Consumption
    • Canada – Allegations of Carcinogenic Effect: A message saying that drinking alcohol causes cancer appeared on ads in British Columbia’s transit stations and vehicles, restaurants and bars, and on the provincial agency’s social media platforms. This messaging is reportedly part of the provincial health agency’s Now You Know campaign which seeks to educate people about the alleged links between alcohol consumption and cancer.
    • Ireland – Responsibility Sites: We reported in last week’s notable policy alert that Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris had reportedly contacted media outlets, asking them not to use alcohol industry-funded responsibility sites, such as Drinkaware. This piece takes the Minister to task for a flawed position and suggests that the public should be allowed to make their own determinations.
    • United Kingdom – Study on Alcohol Harm: In the course of this effort, the Commission on Alcohol Harm has asked health professionals for evidence of harm, with a particular interest in hearing from nurses who have witnessed the effects of alcohol overuse while at work. This request is consistent with the Commission’s remit to examine current injurious use of alcohol, recent trends, and potential solutions for reducing alcohol harm. The group is also planning to assess the need to develop a new nationwide alcohol strategy, last updated in 2012.
    • United Kingdom – Drinkers Exceeding Alcohol Limits: The UK chief medical officers’ guideline for men and women reportedly recommended not drinking more that 14 units per week on a regular basis. New research commissioned by the Yorkshire Cancer Research charity has found that 21% of drinkers exceed the recommended guideline every week. This study, which surveyed 3,000 adults, also determined that six in ten people were unaware of the weekly recommended limit.
    • United States – Alcohol Related Deaths Reportedly Increase Significantly: A recent study under the auspices of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has reportedly found that the number of Americans who have died from alcohol-related problems annually more than doubled between 1999 and 2017. The study also found that the number of women drinking dangerous amounts of alcohol has risen sharply in the United States. The analysis examined deaths nationwide each year during this period that were reported as being caused at least partly by alcohol, including acute overdose, its chronic use, or in combination with other drugs. According to the study, nearly half of all alcohol-related deaths resulted from liver disease or overdoses on alcohol alone or with other drugs.
    • United States – Moderate Alcohol Consumption may Reduce the Risk for Kidney Disease: Compared with those who abstain, participants in a study who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol were found to have a lower risk for developing chronic kidney disease.