Rebecca Williams

Told you: Calls for plain packaging on beer now

Plain Packaging for beer: Is this our future?

Plain Packaging for beer: Is this our future?

I warned everybody, and have been doing so for years, that if we allow plain packaging for products like tobacco then it wouldn’t be long before calls for plain packing came for other products, most notably alcohol and sugar.

Well, no one listened to me. Commenters on this blog also, rather po-facedly, stated that they didn’t mind on tobacco. Now there are calls for plain packaging of alcohol.

Alcohol watchdogs are concerned beer branding?featuring?cute cartoons or?resembling?softdrinks, may be too?appealing to minors.

The rise of the craft beer market has resulted in a new wave of creative, colourful, and often cartoonish labels as alcohol producers compete for consumers’ attention.

Auckland craft brewery Behemoth Brewing Company, has?”brave bikkie brown ale” featuring a cartoon?monster eating a cookie on its bottles.

A mouse riding a?dog appears on?Scallywag rich amber ale from?Auckland craft brewery?Schipper’s?Beer, while?a?badger wearing a?jetpack stars on its Boffin bitter.

Even the Mac’s beer range, owned by major brewer Lion, features labels with drawings of wolves, a shark fin and an Indian Pale Ale called “birthday suit” with a grizzly beer holding a hop bud.?And two months ago, the darling of the New Zealand craft beer scene, Garage Project,?released a “Lola cheery cola beer” in a can with a striking resemblance to Coca-Cola.

But while this type of?branding can be fun and exciting for adults, it can spell?confusion for youngsters, said Rebecca?Williams, director of the?Alcohol?Healthwatch?group.

She said?cartoons on alcohol?labelling?sent a message to minors that alcohol consumption should not be taken seriously, blurring?the reality that it contained a toxin.

“Look at the colours of them – they’re?cute, they’re quirky,” said Williams.

When children liked a brand or could relate?to it, it?translated into early alcohol consumption, she said.

“I think it’s about time somebody was challenged.”

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Professor Doug Sellman finds a new whipping boy

Scientists keep complaining that media are critical of them, and they should just be left alone to practice science unencumbered by plebs having opinions.

Problem is, these scientists aren’t pure and very much driven by money. ?There are so many government-filled money troughs, that truth really takes a back seat.

Take this example

Alcohol Healthwatch has joined the National Addiction Centre in calling for the sale of alcohol powder sachets to be banned or tightly regulated.
The alcohol sachets cost about $1.50 and have the strength of 0.4 of a standard drink.
They also contain 20 percent alcohol, and can be mixed with non-alcoholic drinks.

Director of Alcohol Healthwatch, Rebecca Williams, said they were not quality drinks but give people a quick hit. ?She said they were predominantly used by young people trying to smuggle alcohol into restricted areas at sports and music events.

Doug Selman head of the National Addiction Centre said?the sachets would take the country backwards.?He said the sachets can be bought in some bottle stores, and are a cunning way for people to bring alcohol into events.

Professor Sellman, who is also the medical spokesperson for the lobby group, Alcohol Action New Zealand, said these sachets were simply a clever method of making alcohol more available. ?”All the evidence points to the fact that if you make alcohol more accessible, more alcohol will be consumed and if more alcohol is consumed you’ll get more alcohol related problems.

“So what we have to do in New Zealand, where alcohol is still relatively out of control, is decrease the accessibility and these sachets are just taking us in the opposite direction by increasing the accessibility of alcohol, but in a rather sneaky and secretive way,” he said.
Professor Sellman said the Government currently had no policy on alcohol sachets and he was urging it to look seriously into regulating or banning them.

Certainly sounds like a potential problem. ?Until you actually look into a little further: ? Read more »

Four years old but so accurate for today, Thomas Sewell on Global Warming and other causes

Author Thomas Sowell argues that public demand for intellectuals is largely manufactured by intellectuals themselves. He says intellectuals make alarming predictions using causes like global warming to create a need for their services.

Which brings us to New Zealand. ?? Read more »

70% of girls aged 14-17 tuck into RTDs

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The weekends should be relaxing. But this weekend there will be crisis meetings at Independent Liquor as booze boss Julian Davidson and his highly paid spin merchant Mark Unsworth try to figure out how to counter this alarming figure.

Anti booze troughers Alcohol Healthwatch and Women?s Health Action have?banged out a report saying that women are binge drinking like the blokes.? Read more »

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