Marketing

EC amendments soften blow for alcohol industry

Drinks Ireland has come out in support of the overall objectives of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan with the European Commission recently approving the conclusion of a report from BECA – the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer.

 

Following debate, the European parliament voted on a series of amendments to the BECA report, making a key distinction between 'harmful' levels of drinking and any level of consumption.

Following debate, the European parliament voted on a series of amendments to the BECA report, making a key distinction between ‘harmful’ levels of drinking and any level of consumption.

A number of amendments to the report, softening the more hardline approach originally adopted against alcohol, were passed before reaching approval.

MEPs voted for an approach focusing on the EU’s prevention efforts on tackling alcohol misuse and underage drinking, something the Irish drinks industry fully supports and has been actively working to achieve.

“We’ve seen very good progress in Ireland in recent years,” stated Drinks Ireland, “We also back the amendments to the report that will balance the need to support local sports clubs, teams and communities, while also tackling alcohol advertising and sponsorship at sports events targeted at minors. Note this is something already being addressed in Ireland through the Public Health (Alcohol) Act and prior to this the industry has for years followed self-regulatory codes on marketing and advertising.

“We look forward to continued engagement with our Irish MEPs and other relevant stakeholders,” it concluded.

Following debate, the European parliament voted on a series of amendments to the BECA report, making a key distinction between ‘harmful’ levels of drinking and any level of consumption.

In doing so it recalled the study originally referred to by the World Health Organisation in which it was stated that there was “no safe level of alcohol consumption”. The original Plan had stated that any amount of alcohol consumption carries a health risk; there is “no safe level”.

Other amendments such as those softening labelling requirements and emphasising “harmful alcohol consumption” rather than simply “alcohol consumption” have also been included.

 

Brewers of Europe in support

The Brewers of Europe, representing national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and providing a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 11,000 breweries, also came out in support of the EC’s Plan and the overall stance taken by the European Parliament in its opinion adopted on February the 16th.

MEPs voted for an approach that focuses the EU’s prevention efforts on tackling harmful consumption and protecting minors, which the Brewers of Europe supports.

“We also applaud the Parliament’s astuteness in amending the report before the final vote, through a cross-party initiative,” stated the Brewers of Europe.

In its final plenary debate many members of the European Parliament focused on the need to understand and follow the science.

“While the approved opinion focuses on beating cancer, alcohol policies must be holistically conceived and take into account the link between different drinking patterns, all health conditions, the varying outcomes and the overall health impact,” stated the Brewers of Europe, adding, “It’s crucial to recognise the role lower alcohol beverages can play in the EU’s objective of achieving a 10% reduction by 2025 in the harmful use of alcohol”.

 

 

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