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Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many meetings he had with representatives from supermarkets where alcohol price, promotion and harm were discussed in the last 12 months. (185075)

Two such meetings have taken place.

In May 2007 the Government announced an agreement with the alcohol industry that, alcoholic drinks labels should include alcohol unit content along with guidelines on sensible drinking. As part of the discussions which led to this agreement, on 15 March 2007 the former Minister of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Caroline Flint) met with representatives from the alcohol industry, including the British Retail Consortium.

On 21 November 2007, the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, the Culture Secretary and the current Minister of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, South (Dawn Primarolo), met with alcohol retailers, alcohol manufacturers, enforcement agencies, representatives of local councils and doctors and academics specialising in alcohol issues, to discuss the problems of under-age drinking and binge-drinking.

This included:

Peter V. Marks, chief executive of United Co-op;

Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco;

Mark Bolland, chief executive of Morrisons; and

Nick Grant, chairman of the Alcohol Retail Standards Group and Head of Legal Affairs, Sainsburys.

The purpose of the seminar was to inform the alcohol industry about the action the Government are taking over coming months, as set out in “Safe. Sensible. Social. The next steps in the National Alcohol Strategy” to tackle binge drinking and help people to drink sensibly and to discuss what more the industry can do to help.