My Round: Two new non-alcoholic drinks revealed including first Irish dry-hopped craft soda

My Round: Two new non-alcoholic drinks revealed including first Irish dry-hopped craft soda

“Two weeks ago I wrote about Dry January and complained about the lack of Irish-made non-alcoholic (NA) beverages. Now just like a Dublin bus, two have come along at once.”—Aran Brazil


Alcohol cancer labelling advocates unfazed by Yukon threats

Legal threats of the kind which abruptly halted the first trial of cancer warning labels in Canada’s Yukon territory before Christmas are not altering plans elsewhere.

Measures proposed last month in Australia call for “readable, impactful” warning labels. And Gerald Nash, an Irish senator, introduced an amendment to a recent alcohol bill to include cancer warnings.

“Given the strength and level of support expressed in the Senate, I expect that the bill will receive the same level of support when it moves to the Dàil [Ireland’s Lower House],” Nash told Alcohol Companion.

Donal Buggy of the Irish Cancer Society says he is confident, “The public health imperative for inclusion of cancer-specific labelling warnings will prevail over the narrow sectoral interests of the alcohol industry.”

Legal threats are “not an issue” in Australia, says Michael Thorn, head of Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education: “Australia took it up to the tobacco industry on plain packaging and won.”

The initial focus of Thorn’s efforts will be to  secure mandated warning labels on the dangers of drinking while pregnant, paving the way for others. This might happen in the next 18 months, he says.

In Ireland, meanwhile, one seasoned observer suggests public support for the alcohol bill would mean any attempt by the alcohol industry to stand in its way would be a “PR disaster”.

The next phase of alcohol industry resistance there seems more likely to be quibbling about the format and wording of warning labels than whether they appear.

It is currently unclear whether the Yukon trial will restart. 

[cutting] Republic will delay alcohol minimum unit pricing until Stormont operating | Irish Times

Minister for Health Simon Harris is  to delay the implementation of minimum unit pricing, which bans below cost sales of alcohol, until the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly are back in operation and can introduce it simultaneously.


[cutting] Irish Alcohol Bill is watered down |

The watering down of the Public Health Alcohol Bill will mean the proposed “booze curtain”, hiding alcohol from view, will no longer be mandatory in smaller shops.


[cutting] Ten contractor staff working on railways fail drugs/alcohol tests | Irish Times

One-in-seven employees of companies awarded contracts to work on the railways failed random drugs tests in the last year. … Iarnród Éireann [the state-owned rail operator] said it had now established a group to look at strengthening its policies in relation to drugs and alcohol.


[cutting] AA criticises TDs for putting alcohol sales before safety | Irish Examiner

AA criticises TDs for putting alcohol sales before safety

AA Ireland says it supports the strengthening of the drink-driving laws because it will make roads safer.


[cutting] Inside Ireland’s powerful lobbying industry | Irish Times

There have been more than 70 returns of lobbying this year, with the business lobby Ibec most prominent with seven. Most of the 220 TDs and Senators, as well as just about every ministerial adviser, have been lobbied (often by former colleagues in Government) by a team of Ibec officials. Others including big and small retailers, the advertising industry, individual alcohol companies and media companies have all got in on the act.

[cutting] Former FG advisers are lobbying on alcohol Bill | Irish Times

Former FG advisers are lobbying on alcohol Bill

At least ten former designated public officials have been involved in lobbying on the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill and on alcohol in general. They include two former Fine Gael senators and four special advisers to ministers during the party’s time in coalition with Labour.