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Howard's End: Milky Booze May Target Kiwi Kids

Howard's End

Aussie’s Milky Booze May Target Kiwi Kids

By Maree Howard

Following Scoop's story that US soft-drink giant, Coca Cola, is to launch a milk-based drink in July, comes news that a 5.3 per cent alcoholic milk drink aimed at underage drinkers is to be launched on the South Australian market within two months and it could end up in New Zealand. Maree Howard writes.

The Adelaide Advertiser newspaper is reporting today that a controversial alcoholic milk drink accused of being targeted at underage drinkers will be on the South Australian (SA) market within two months.

The paper reports that SA is the only state where Victorian company Wicked Holdings has been granted a licence for alcoholic Moo Joose, after Victoria banned the product and New South Wales is set to follow.

The drink, to be sold in bottle shops, restaurants, pubs and nighclubs, has an alcoholic content of 5.3 per cent.

Coming in flavours Stawberry Rush, Banana Smash, Choc Fusion, and Wicked Irish, the move has angered drug and alcohol groups who are concerned the product is targeted at young people.

"Alcoholic milk would exacerbate the serious problem of underage and binge drinking by young people," Centre for Youth Drug Studies director Geoff Munro told Advertiser reporter Laura Anderson.

"We do not need alcoholic milk," he said.

But Wicked company director and dairy farmer, Travis Morgan, defended the drink.

"I'm just a dairy farmer trying to be more self sufficient rather than taking grants off the Government in hard times of the drought," he told the newspaper.

"Kids drink a lot of Coke, lemonade and rasberry - now all alcohol companies have done is put alcohol in that product," he said.

Consumer Affairs Minister Michael Atkinson told the newspaper that SA legislation was not equivalent to Victoria's in specifying a class of liquor, but laws do require licensees to comply with a compulsory code of practice meaning that the Government can clamp down on any marketing attempt by the product manufacturer that encourages young people to consume alcohol.

The South Australian Liquor and Gambling Commissioner said the licence, granted on April 28, entitles the company to sell liquor from SA anywhere in Australia and overseas.

Company director, Mr Morgan, said he hoped to have the product distributed within two months otherwise he would sell to interested overseas companies.

Victorian liquor licensing authorities say there was "clearly an imperative" to ban the "dangerously misleading" product because the container looked just like the sort of milk drink that a young child would have.

Are the cash-strapped and drought-striken Australian farmers and SA Liquor Licensing Authorities right? Should our kids be able to get drunk on milk as well?

© Scoop Media

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