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European trade body criticizes Thailand’s proposed alcohol health warning proposals

A European trade body has levied criticism at the proposed use of health warnings on alcohol labels, they claim there are more effective measure to tackle issues that surround the abuse of alcohol. Spirits Europe said, in their recent news letter that health warnings on alcohol bottles fail to induce behavioral change in drinking patterns and that more sophisticated prevention campaigns are more appropriate.

Thailand has been considering putting graphic warning labels on alcohol for quite some time highlighting the increased risk of suicide, family break up and rink driving. However Spirits Europe has asked the officials to reconsider their approach to alcohol related problems and to consult the World Trade organizations Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade.

“As spirits producers, we make great efforts to reduce alcohol-related harm without punishing moderate, responsible consumers, both in Europe and in third countries to which we export our products,” a statement from Spirits Europe read.

“We appreciate Thailand’s commitment to tackling alcohol harm.  However, we believe that there are more appropriate measures – equally if not more effective – to fulfill the public health objective of reducing alcohol related harm, which should be adopted by the Thai authorities instead.”

The argument between trade and politicians with regards to the implementation of health warnings on alcohol labels has been waging for some time. Most recently, in August this year, a group of British MP’s recommended that warnings should be printed on alcohol products to combat the UK’s excessive drinking problem.

Calls were also recently made in Australia for tougher warnings on alcohol labels following the revelation that 15 die every day from alcohol-related harm in the country

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