For those of you interested in the Minimum Unit Pricing issue here is the link to the report produced by Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP).
SHAAP has published a report documenting the full proceedings of the historic event in Brussels on 5th September 2014 when the case for Alcohol Minimum Pricing was made by its supporters. This happens as the European Court of Justice considers its response to the attempts of global alcohol producers, fronted by the Scotch Whisky Association to block the implementation of this legislation.
From Eric Carlin, Director, SHAAP:
This report details what happened when the Scottish health professions joined with around 80 European colleagues and industry representatives to challenge the continued obstruction by global alcohol producers to the implementation of Scotland’s Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) policy. Legislation to introduce a Minimum Unit Price of 50p was passed without opposition by the Scottish Parliament in May 2012. The legislation has yet to come into force because a consortium of global alcohol producers, frontedby the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), Spirits Europe and the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) is fighting its implementation every step of the way. Thefight has moved to Europe where, in the latest stage of the legal battle, written opinions from EU member states may be made to the European Court, with the deadline for this being mid-October 2014.
Changes in the price of alcohol are a key determinant in rates of alcohol harm. In Canada, a 10% increase in average minimum alcohol prices was associated with a 32% reduction in alcohol deaths. Minimum Unit Pricing is within the competence of the Scottish Government to implement as an appropriate Public Health response to a Health crisis. SHAAP (Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems) is urging other member states and the European Commission to support the Scottish policy. Minimum Unit Pricing is opposed by a consortium of multi-national alcohol producers who, inaccurately, have tried to frame this as a Health v Industry issue, rather than as a vital life-saving measure.