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MARGINALISING HEALTH INFORMATION: IMPLICATIONS OF THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT FOR ALCOHOL LABELLING
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). La Trobe University, Australia.
Number of Authors: 42017 (English)In: Melbourne University Law Review, ISSN 0025-8938, Vol. 41, no 1, p. 341-391Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the public health implications of a novel set of trade rules for the labelling of wine and spirits included in the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement ('TPP'), signed in February 2016. While the TPP seems unlikely to proceed in its current form, its alcohol labelling provisions are beginning to appear in subsequent regional trade agreements. These provisions include the requirement that parties allow wine and spirits suppliers to place country-specific information on a supplementary label rather than the main label. A government's interest in prioritisation of health warning, for instance, would thus be subordinated to the supplier's interest in its desired labelling. The new rules promote regulatory harmonisation, making it easier for producers to comply with different labelling requirements, but they also create potential challenges for countries wishing to introduce effective health warning schemes and other types of health information on alcohol containers. The article concludes that these challenges are probably not insurmountable, but the interpretation of the rules in the context of a complaint or dispute is uncertain, creating the potential for a deterrent effect against governments requiring health warning labels and other information. The burden of alcohol-related harm is considerable and there is a strong rationale for better health information on alcohol containers. In this context, it is important that the state's right to supply health information and use it to mark alcohol as 'no ordinary commodity' is preserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 41, no 1, p. 341-391
National Category
Law
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-153691ISI: 000423360900009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-153691DiVA, id: diva2:1187811
Available from: 2018-03-06 Created: 2018-03-06 Last updated: 2018-03-06Bibliographically approved

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