Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Alcohol labelling decision a travesty for unborn babies

Alcohol labelling decision a travesty of justice for unborn babies

At a meeting in Australia last week, trans-Tasman ministers responsible for food safety voted to allow the alcohol industry yet another two years to ‘voluntarily’ warn consumers of the risks of consuming alcohol during pregnancy.

Alcohol Healthwatch Director Rebecca Williams says the industry’s voluntary efforts over the past two years have been pathetic and typical of their delaying tactics to avoid regulatory intervention.

Ms Williams says effective labelling is proven to raise awareness of the risks of consuming alcohol during pregnancy. Children exposed to alcohol in the womb are at risk of serious and permanent brain damage and other life-long disabilities, known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. She says, the rights of these children are being overlooked to protect the profits of the alcohol industry.

A New Zealand-led application for warning labels was submitted to Food Standards Australia New Zealand in 2006. In response and after years of delay the alcohol industry was given two years to include warning messages on products voluntarily. Those two years were up in December 2013.

An independent audit undertaken in Australia showed that alcohol industry efforts were totally inadequate. The audit* of 250 products in Australia found that while there had been some improvements since 2012:

· only 37 percent carried any version of the Drinkwise consumer information messages

· only 26 percent carried a pregnancy-related message

· the majority of warning messages (86 percent) took up less than 5 percent of the label

· of products carrying the industry label most (59 percent) were at the back of the product.

Williams says both the Australia and New Zealand Governments are well aware of the risks associated with drinking alcohol, and they are aware of what is required to address these risks.

“Self-regulation and voluntary codes of practice by the alcohol industry are shown to be ineffective and do nothing but delay more effective measures being adopted.”

In a speech about vulnerable children in August 2013 the Prime Minister John Key said, “As Prime Minister, I want to see every one of our children getting the very best start to life. They deserve nothing less.” ** Ms Williams says better warnings on alcohol products would help many children get a better start.
“This latest alcohol labelling decision clearly demonstrates the power the alcohol industry wields. It is time for Governments on both sides of the Tasman to push back and make decisions based on the evidence and what is in the best interests of the wider community, especially those without a voice.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

Looks like you need to get the blurb yourself. Probably best to do that irrespective, actually.If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common.

Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues. Neither have yet been given a mandate to govern by the electorate although – in both countries – the Labour opposition is in less than robust shape. More>>

 

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news