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

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system.

To all intents and purposes, access by New Zealanders to the Privy Council has now been closed. Yet the number of times in recent years when the Privy Council has quashed the findings of New Zealand courts has demonstrated that we are regularly
(a) jailing the wrong person or
(b) arriving at guilty verdicts on grounds sufficiently flawed as to raise serious doubts that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news