In Ireland, they're using the old 'evil industry' ploy.
Experts on alcohol consumption have accused the government of giving in to ‘corporate bullying’ by the alcohol industry. Speaking last week during Mayo Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week, Professor Joe Barry and Dr Ann Hope argued that the government has allowed the industry to self regulate and has failed to curb alcohol advertising.Australian anti-alcohol campaigners are only marginally more subtle. The implied contempt for a popular industry is still there, but this time in a bid to take control of health warnings on booze.
Prof Barry called for a total ban on alcohol advertising, especially in sport, arguing that rugby has ‘sold its soul’ with the amount of alcohol-related sponsorships it accepted. He went on to criticise the decision to appoint alcohol-industry representatives to the Strategic Task Force on Alcohol, comparing it to a drug dealer sitting on a drugs task force.
Market research has overwhelmingly rejected the alcohol health warning labels recently launched by the Australian alcohol industry in favour of informative, clear and specific labels produced by the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education (FARE).Meanwhile, in South Africa, they've abandoned all pretence and are openly suggesting prohibition or - taking a leaf out of the anti-smoking handbook - the more passive aggressive term, 'alcohol free'.
Michael Thorn, Chief Executive of FARE said, “This demonstrates that warning labels have to be clear, contain specific health messages and prominently placed on alcohol products. The research is an indictment of the industry’s weak approach to alcohol labelling and their inability to prioritise the health of Australians.”
FARE calls on the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council to agree to the introduction of mandatory health warning labels, starting with a pregnancy warning label and to rule out any industry led system.
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini has called on her government colleagues to lead by example and ban alcohol at all state functions, City Press reported on Sunday.Advertising curbs, health warnings and outright bans. Now where have we heard all that before, eh? They're ambitious little critters though, I'll give them that. My, don't they move fast with a proven plan to follow!
Her call comes as her department leads government's anti-alcohol and substance abuse festive season programme that is set to be launched in the Western Cape on Wednesday.
The campaign with the theme "Towards an alcohol and drug-free South Africa" is part of an inter-ministerial anti-substance abuse programme.
And on that note, I'm off up the pub.