PHM Australia: Trans-Pacific Partnership rules could block alcohol warnings

29 Jul 2013

PHM OZ has been following the Trans-Pacific-Partnership discussions. To find out more, read Deborah Gleeson (from PHM OZ)  & Paula O'Brien's article in The Conversation, 24 July 2013

New rules for alcohol labelling were discussed in Malaysia earlier this week by countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The proposed rules could stymie the introduction of effective health warnings on alcohol products in all the countries involved.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a regional trade agreement being negotiated between 12 Pacific Rim countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.

Australia’s representatives have high hopes for the agreement, seeing it as the pathway to a free-trade area in the Asia-Pacific that could rival the European Union in value.

But the talks have been highly controversial, in part due to concerns about the effects the pact could have on many areas of public health, such as access to medicines and tobacco control.

And news that the agreement’s proposed text includes an annex on the labelling of wine and distilled spirits is raising concerns among Australian alcohol policy and public health groups because it could block effective health warnings on alcohol containers.

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