The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) is seeking a ban on the advertising of certain foods, beverages and alcohol between 7am and 11pm in every EU country, in a bid to protect minors. The European Commission recently published its proposal to revise the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). The AVMSD deals, amongst others, with advertising of unhealthy foods to children as well as alcohol advertising. Two rapporteurs have been appointed to take the proposal through the European Parliament. They asked for comments on the Commission proposal from a wide range of stakeholders. EASL sent in a submission on alcohol and food advertising. While EASL believes that, in certain respects, the Commission’s proposal for amending the Audio Visual Media Services Directive represents an improvement on the current Directive, they also see several important respects in which it can be strengthened. In their submission EASL refers to numerous studies which show that exposure to marketing of alcohol and foods high in salt, sugar and saturated fats, increases consumption of these products in all segments of the population, including children. The EASL recommendations aim to strengthen the existing Directive which states that advertising must not cause “physical or moral detriment to minors”. The EASL is also requesting amendments to the Directive in relation to product placement and sponsorship. The rapporteurs are scheduled to publish their draft report in early September. Other Parliamentary committees will then have the opportunity to submit amendments. Read EASL’s submission here.  Source: EASL.EU 07/19/16 maismaismedicina 07/22/16
a-bottle-1063442-m Last week, the EU Health Council endorsed Council conclusions on "An EU strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm". The joint Health Ministers of the EU Member States in this document call on the European Commission to publish an alcohol strategy by the end of next year. During the Council meeting, which was also attended by Vytenis Andriukaitis, the Lithuanian EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, as many as 11 Health Ministers voiced their opinion that a special EU strategy should be reinforced. Their voting statement, as well as the Council conclusions show that the Ministers of Health are of the opinion that the alcohol problem in Europe is so serious that in addition to alcohol policies of the Member States, measures are also needed at EU level. It is particularly concerned with policy designed to reduce alcohol related problems with a cross-border dimension, such as labeling, e-commerce, audiovisual media services, excise duties and import quotas. The new strategy should - according to the EU Health Council - align with the activities already undertaken by the Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action (CNAPA) and the World Health Organization. It is striking that no mention is made in the document about the European Alcohol and Health Forum. During the council meeting, this forum was not mentioned at all by any Minister. It seems that with the departure of the joint health organizations from the Forum, it apparently has no future in the eyes of the Member States. On April the 29th of this year the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the Commission to immediately begin preparing a new European Alcohol Strategy. Until now, the Commission has refused however. Andriukaitis shortly after adoption of the resolution by the European Parliament said in a speech that - in his opinion - the European alcohol policy does not need to be put separately in a special strategy, but that it can be incorporated into a broader policy paper on chronic lifestyle diseases. European health organizations felt that this statement from Andriukatis a curtsy to the alcohol industry. Therefore, last summer they collectively withdrew from the European Alcohol and Health Forum. The Luxembourg Commission President Claude Juncker and Dutch First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, have so far not spoke out in favour of an Alcohol Strategy. However, it looks as though they may have to review the current state of affairs. Now that both the European Parliament and the EU Health Council have so explicitly asked for a strategic paper on alcohol, the Commission can no longer refuse. Commenting on the adopted Council conclusions Andriukatis immediately stated that the Commission has not definitively decided whether or not a new strategy will be prepared.
Will Scotland get five years to test their minimum alcohol unit pricing policy? The BBC reports that the European Court of Justice is to hear evidence from the Scottish government on its case for introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol. The hearing in Luxembourg will enable the court to produce its preliminary ruling on the policy. The Scottish Parliament passed legislation to bring in a minimum unit price of 50p in May 2012. But this was fought legally by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which argued it breached European law. Scottish ministers have said minimum pricing was vital to address Scotland's "unhealthy relationship with drink". The legal bid by the SWA, backed by other European wine and spirits producers, was initially rejected in 2013. Following an appeal hearing however, the case was referred to the European court for its opinion last year. Besides Scotland, other EU member states are also expected to make representations at the court, with Ireland, Norway, the UK and Sweden expected to argue in support of the policy. A preliminary ruling by the court in Luxembourg will be issued later this year and the case will then be referred back to the Court of Session for a final decision. Source: BBC.com 05/06/15
2015 is the year that the EUs Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) will be put under review and is expected to be updated significantly. Currently, the AVMSD is the only law regulating media throughout the whole EU. IOGT-NTO, UNF, EUROCARE and EUCAM  think the 2015 review of the AVMSD is the perfect opportunity to improve the existing law in order to protect minors from the harmful effects of alcohol marketing. Together we invite alcohol-, youth-, and health NGOs to this seminar to become informed about the importance of the AVMSD, the influence of alcohol marketing and to discuss the problems in the curent version of the AVMSD.

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PROGRAM 09:00 Opening 09.10 Welcome and Introduction 09:20 Alcohol sponsorship in the AVMSD, by EUROCARE 09:35 Alcohol marketing attractive to young people, by EUCAM 09:50 Problem of trans-border broadcasts, byIOGT-NTO 10:05 Exposure to alcohol marketing, young people’s perspective, by UNF 10:20 BREAK 10:35 Introduction on the AVMSD REFIT timeline and discussion on strategy to adopt the AVMSD for restricting alcohol marketing. 11:00 Planning the way forward in our strategy 11.30 Conclusions and final remarks VENUE  EUROCARE Office  Rue Archimede 17, 3rd floor B-1000Brussels, Belgium

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2015 is the year that the EUs Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) will be put under review and is expected to be updated significantly. Currently, the AVMSD is the only law regulating media throughout the whole EU. IOGT-NTO, UNF, EUROCARE and EUCAM  think the 2015 review of the AVMSD is the perfect opportunity to improve the existing law in order to protect minors from the harmful effects of alcohol marketing. Together we invite alcohol-, youth-, and health NGOs to this seminar to become informed about the importance of the AVMSD, the influence of alcohol marketing and to discuss the problems in the curent version of the AVMSD.

Click here to register for this free event>>

PROGRAM 09:00 Opening 09.10 Welcome and Introduction 09:20 Alcohol sponsorship in the AVMSD, by EUROCARE 09:35 Alcohol marketing attractive to young people, by EUCAM 09:50 Problem of trans-border broadcasts, byIOGT-NTO 10:05 Exposure to alcohol marketing, young people’s perspective, by UNF 10:20 BREAK 10:35 Introduction on the AVMSD REFIT timeline and discussion on strategy to adopt the AVMSD for restricting alcohol marketing. 11:00 Planning the way forward in our strategy 11.30 Conclusions and final remarks VENUE  EUROCARE Office  Rue Archimede 17, 3rd floor B-1000Brussels, Belgium

Click here to register for this free event>>

logos Eurocare, IOGT, Unf, EUCAM

Legal possibilities of a comprehensive alcohol advertising ban in Europe Econometric studies by Saffer and colleagues suggest that overall bans of alcohol marketing can be successful in decreasing the total alcohol consumption among adolescents. In accordance with this, in its European Action Plan (2011) the WHO recommends a total ban on alcohol advertising in Europe. The new factsheet describes the competence of the European Union to adopt a pan-European alcohol advertising ban and its legal possibilities.

The Fact Sheet concludes that a European ban is realistically achievable. Restricting the volume of alcohol advertising is one aspect of a comprehensive evidence-based alcohol policy to combat alcohol-related harm. Extensive alcohol advertising restrictions are already in place in some European countries (e.g. France, Norway and Sweden). A pan-European alcohol advertising ban is the next step in limiting the large volume of alcohol advertising in Europe, and is recommended by the World Health Organization. Existing European restrictions on advertising tobacco, gambling, and prescriptive drugs show that the EU is competent to protect its citizens by adopting extensive advertising bans. Such a ban, even when considered to be trade-distorting, can be justified on health grounds when the policy instrument proposed is seen as “proportionate” and “appropriate”. Alternatively, justification for an extensive advertising ban on economic grounds was given when an EU ban on tobacco advertising was introduced. By harmonizing volume restrictions of advertising on the internal market, distortions of tobacco advertising competition are aimed to be avoided. A similar approach can be taken by legislators who want to regulate alcohol adverting. Both the audio and the Powerpoint presentation of a short lecture on this topic by Wim van Dalen of STAP, the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy, are available on the website of EUROCARE.

The full fact sheet can be downloaded and read here

corporate social responsability With tightening regulations on alcohol marketing, alcohol producers develop new initiatives to make customers aware of their brands and products. One such recent development is the use of Corporate Social Responsibility to build on the image of the companies. This boiles down to alcohol producers claiming to take responsibility in informing customers about responsible drinking behaviour through the use of education. A challanging new development that takes with it certain dangers that are discussed in this report.

The full report can be downloaded and read here