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 The National Leadership “Contest”

Key’s endorsement of English has turned this “contest” into a race for second place.

This succession was well planned. Lets not forget that English was told by Key in September of his intention to resign, and English was the only member of Cabinet entrusted with that information before it was sprung on everyone else on Monday morning. More>>

Latest: Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman have withdrawn from the leadership race, leaving Bill English the only candidate to replace John Key as Prime Minister.

 

Education, Marketing, Taxes: Health Groups Call For Actions For Sugary Drinks

The New Zealand Dental Association is launching a new consensus statement on Sugary Drinks endorsed by key health organisations. The actions seek to reduce harm caused by sugary drinks consumption. More>>

ALSO:

More Departures? David Shearer Proposed For UN Peacekeeping Role

Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Security Agencies' Reports: GCSB Wants To Give ISPs More Power To Block Threats

The Government Communications Security Bureau wants to give internet service providers more information and power to block cyber threats which are increasing, its director told the intelligence and security select committee yesterday.. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Charter Schools Misleading Pass Rates

Labour: NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated... In one case a school reported a 93.3 per cent pass rate when the facts show only 6.7 per cent of leavers achieved NCEA level two. More>>

ALSO:

Rebstock Report Resolution: SSC Apologises To Derek Leask And Nigel Fyfe

Following a complaint by Mr Leask, the Ombudsman found that the State Services Commission acted unreasonably in relation to Mr Leask and identified numerous deficiencies in the investigation process and in the publication of the final report and in the criticisms it contained of Mr Leask... More>>

ALSO:

International Rankings: Student Results 'Show More Resourcing Needed'

NZEI: New Zealand had only held relatively steady in international rankings in some areas because the average achievement for several other OECD countries had lowered the OECD average -- not because our student achievement has improved. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Salvation Army Report: Beyond The Prison Gate Report

A new Salvation Army report says changes must be made to how prisoners re-enter society for New Zealanders to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Surprise Exit: Gordon Campbell On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news