Alcoholic beverage

They are coming for your booze now with plain packaging

Christopher Snowden tweets:

This is the news that Indonesia is moving to implement plain packaging for alcohol, using the same arguments to support their laws as those used against tobacco products.

This weekend it was reported that Indonesia is stepping up plans to introduce plain packaging for alcoholic products. Should the country press ahead with its plans, the prediction by IP associations that plain packaging will creep into other industry segments may be realised sooner than expected.

The Jakarta Post and Food Navigator Asia both report that the Indonesian government is considering regulation that would require beverages with an alcohol content in excess of 20% to either carry graphic health warnings or to use plain packaging.   Read more »

Weed, alcohol and tobacco – One of these things is not like the others

Here in New Zealand we have the health jihadists attempting get a plain packaging law on tobacco through parliament. Contemporaneously other health jihadists are trying to apply the same logic to products that contain sugar.

California is moving already to force warning labels on soft drinks…and has one of the most restrictive anti-smoking regimes in the world.

Australia has forced plain packaging of tobacco and is now being sued for the pleasure.

The UK is attempting to ram through plain packaging legislation at the same time.

We also have a ban on advertising, and have removed all displays from stores.

Which is all very incongruent when you look at two other products.

Alcohol and Cannabis.

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Not just our trade affected by plain packaging, now Scotch is in the gun

I wrote earlier in eh week about Indonesia threatening retaliation for our $900 million export trade to Indonesia if plain packaging goes ahead. This would likely affect our wine exports and also milk…the two largest and with the milk the most sensitive.

Indonesia has also said to the UK that the lucrative Scotch Whisky trade will likely be retaliated against if plain packaging is implemented in the UK.

The same arguments that Tim Groser was putting forward about sovereign nations retaining rights to protect the health of its citizens can also apply to alcohol and infant formulas. In Indonesia’s case on alcohol they could simply use the fact they are a muslim nation and alcohol is forbidden in the Koran, so plain packaging is needed to reduce consumption…the same claims that plain packaging advocates use for implementation against tobacco.

SCOTCH whisky could be dragged into a tit-for-tat trade war because of plans to ­introduce plain packaging for cigarettes in Scotland and the rest of the UK, MPs fear.

The Indonesian government has proposed forcing Australian wine to be sold in plain packaging in retaliation for Australia introducing plain packs for cigarettes in December 2012.

Indonesia is expected to impose the same restrictions on New Zealand when that country introduces plain packs for tobacco products shortly.

The south-east Asian nation has called on other major tobacco-producing countries to follow its lead. Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers and has a high rate of domestic cigarette consumption.

Legislation for plain cigarette packaging in Scotland is due to be introduced at Holyrood before the end of the current parliament. Prime Minister David Cameron has strongly hinted that laws for the measure south of the Border will be included in the Queen’s Speech in June.

This has led to speculation from MPs that whisky could join wine from Australia and New Zealand in being sold in plain packaging in tobacco-producing nations. Glasgow Central MP Anas Sarwar, who supports the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco, urged ministers to intervene with Indonesia to ensure Scotch is not dragged into the dispute.

The Labour MP, who is a member of the all party parliamentary group on Indonesia, said: “UK ministers need to protect the interests of Scotch whisky and must ensure that it is not dragged into any international dispute as a result of the government introducing plain packaging for cigarettes.”

Conservative MP Priti Patel, who chairs the all party parliamentary group for small shops, recently wrote to retailers across the UK asking them to lobby the UK and Scottish governments against the plans for plain cigarette packaging.

She said: “Ministers need to be aware of the wider consequences of legislation, including the effects on international trade as well as the problems it causes for small shops across the country.

“Plain packaging is a very blunt and ill-thought-out instrument for dealing with a health issue.”

Iman Pambagyo, the director general of international trade co-operation in Indonesia’s trade ministry, said the use of plain packaging for cigarettes was not backed by scientific evidence.

“If there is no scientific clarity, the policy should not be applied, because it can affect our other commodities,” he said.

He added that the Indonesian government could implement a plain packaging policy for alcoholic beverages from Australia.

This is of course the slippery slope, when the lobbyist win against tobacco they will start on plain packaging for alcohol, sugar, chocolate…almost anything that they deem to be unhealthy. It could even affect meat…eventually.

Branding will be destroyed, companies destroyed all because of state funded busy bodies who have no evidence.

Make no mistake the busy bodies are coming for your industry next, and they will use the same tactics against your company as they do against tobacco. Watch and learn as Chelsea Sugar is attacked as “Big Sugar”, as purveyors of poison…it is already happening, they are softening up the market before they start naming companies…Coca Cola and Frucor will be top of the list.

Len Brown’s vision for Auckland in tatters

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Cameron Brewer has thrown a hammer smack into the middle of Len Brown’s vision for Auckland to be “the world’s most liveable city”.

Anti-alcohol fanatics have learn’t a thing or two from those anti-tobacco nutters and are pushing Auckland Council to make the city clamp down on mums wanting to buy a few bottles of wine for their evening dinner.

“This policy if adopted will see cordons go up around the alcohol section of every supermarket early in the morning and late at night. Annoying a lot of people, wine and beer will be roped off like we used to have in the old days when you couldn’t buy alcohol from supermarkets on Sundays. It’s ‘back to the future’ stuff,” says Mr Brewer.

“Mum and dad shoppers won’t be able to buy wine or beer with their weekly groceries before 9am and after 10pm. It makes no sense, particularly the morning ban, and such a move will do little to deliver on the intention of the 2012 Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act which is all about minimising alcohol harm. These grocery shoppers are not the problem!”

Read more »

Tobacco tactics now being used in debate over sugar

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As I predicted the same tactics used against tobacco interests are now being deployed the food industry and the use of sugar.

And now it has come to pass.

It is the same tactics of demonisation, glib negative tags, and a lack of evidence to support their beliefs. It is highly political and worse it is taxpayer funding political lobbying.

The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the taxpayer funded political advocacy by a group of academics featured on TV3’s The Nation this weekend. Their efforts to promote a sugar tax appear to be politically motivated rather than based on science. Sugar and similar fat taxes around the world have failed to curb obesity and have turned into revenue gathering tools.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“Denmark’s tax on saturated fat introduced in 2011 was an economic disaster. The Danish tax was abandoned 15 months later and did little, if anything, to reduce harmful consumption. Worse, it was estimated to have cost 1,300 jobs. Why would New Zealand want to repeat this mistake?”

“Taxing the Kiwi tradition of a warm pie and can of cola won’t reduce obesity. The overseas experience tells us that it just leads to compensatory purchasing and brand switching.”

In the item, Dr Gerhard Sundborn stated that fizzy drinks have similarities to tobacco.   Read more »

Countdown now accused of bullying small towns

Countdown really can’t catch a trick these days…they stand accused and under investigation for stand over and bullying of suppliers and now local councils are reporting on their alleged standover tactics with respect to liquor licensing in small towns.

A giant supermarket chain is allegedly pressuring small Kiwi towns to extend booze stores’ trading hours against the communities’ wishes.

One Waikato mayor says Progressive Enterprises’ approach is “aggressive” and “extremely arrogant.” He said his council was being bulldozed by the threat of expensive legal action which could see stores selling alcohol from 7am till 11pm.

Progressive has confirmed it is taking a national approach to enforcing 7am to 11pm opening hour, saying there isn’t enough evidence of alcohol-related harm to reduce hours.

Several councils around the country are being taken to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority by Progressive over the opening hours stipulated in their provisional local alcohol policies, many of which were adopted last year.

At the time, the medical officer of health for the Waikato District Health Board, Dr Richard Wall, put out a press release warning about the supermarkets “threatening expensive legal action,” saying “it was never the intention of Parliament that big businesses call the shots.”

Waipa, Thames-Coromandel, Waimakariri and Tasman District Councils are among the group while tiny Hauraki District Council is also in the sights.   Read more »

Confirmed: Doug Sellman has gone mad

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If there was ever a case of demonstrating once and for all that Professor Doug Sellman is mad, this article ‘Drunks steal sanitiser for alcohol’ proves it.

Any ounce of credibility that this guy once had has long-since evaporated, with his comments that thefts of hand sanitise are due to “excessive alcohol marketing”.

According to Doug Sellman, hospitals are facing a crisis with bottles of hand sanitiser having to be placed under lock and key and thieves seems to be hell-bent on hoeing into the “high-alcohol substance to get drunk”.

Seriously? Apparently so.

He must have some demons in the closet to go anywhere near this, as most people would see it as something as important as a stone in your tyre’s tread.   Read more »

What on earth is the point of a bar with no booze?

The Poms do come up with some seriously daft ideas at times…muslim immigration, joining the EU…and now booze-less bars.

Abstemious bars have also opened in Liverpool and Nottingham, and are planned for Brighton and Newcastle—two famously high-living towns. Unlike many cafés, they stay open late. They emulate bars in other ways, with live music, comedy acts and films to pull in punters. When the lights go down and the DJ plays at Sobar, which opened in Nottingham in January, it looks like any city bar, hopes Alex Gillmore, the manager. Redemption misses the hefty profits made on alcohol, but temperance brings its own benefits. Business remains steady throughout the week rather than spiking at the weekend, says Catherine Salway, its founder. The absence of drunken, obstreperous patrons means that bouncers are unnecessary.  Read more »

Focus coming on RTD manufacturers

Cody's, the preferred drink of weed smoking 9yo maori kids in Hamilton

Cody’s, the preferred drink of weed smoking 9yo maori kids in Hamilton

Today the Herald on Sunday editorial and Kerre McIvor launch into RTD manufacturers.

First up the editorial:

The legislation may need to be revisited to ensure its intentions are clear. Though no parental permission appears to have been given for the supply of alcohol in this instance, the law allowing liquor to be given with parental permission to teenagers below the legal purchasing age may need to include an absolute minimum age for alcohol consumption.

And the sale of canned RTD mixes should be reconsidered too. They are purposely designed for young drinkers. When the law was revised a year ago, the industry was told to voluntarily control these drinks or face regulation. It has set a maximum alcohol content for the cans and banned advertising that appeals to minors.

But sweet drinks in cans will always entice the young. It is time they were banned. Beer, wine, and spirits have a natural child barrier: children by and large do not like them. But potent cocktails are a different proposition for those who are not ready to drink.

The industry says RTDs are giving way to cider among younger adults. It should encourage that trend and phase out RTDs entirely. What better reason does it need than the images of a 9-year-old wasted at a skate park?

That image ought to haunt the liquor industry and legislators for a long time. The video went worldwide and the image may have an impact far beyond New Zealand. The boy, meanwhile, needs help. The police and family services must ensure he receives it.   Read more »

Merry Christmas, Wowser

Here’s a good scientific poke in the eye for NZ’s own kill-joy trougher, Professor Doug Sellman.

The NZ Herald reports:

A contentious new study is suggesting people who drink regularly live longer than those who completely abstain from drinking.

Research published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Researchfound those who did not consume any alcohol appeared to have a higher mortality rate, regardless of whether they were former heavy drinkers or not, than those who drank heavily.

Instead, ‘moderate’ drinking, defined as one to three drinks per day, was associated with the lowest mortality rate.  Read more »