Alcohol 'responsibility deal' rejected14th March 2011
Six health groups, including Alcohol Concern, have said they will not support the government's responsibility deal on alcohol in England.
The groups are unhappy about the terms of the agreement, which they say is not severe enough on the drinks industry.
The responsibility deal incorporates a series of agreements with the alcohol industry concerning how drinks are promoted and advertised.
The health groups, which also include the British Liver Trust and the Royal College of Physicians, had been requested to sign the agreement in order to join up manufacturers, government and healthcare.
The full details of the deal are yet to be released, but are thought to include 80% of alcoholic produce on shelves marked for units and movement on reducing the number of under-age drinkers.
Manufacturers would also promise to move forward on how they advertise and promote products by ensuring alcohol is not advertised near schools and encouraging responsible alcohol consumption.
Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: "It's all carrot and no stick for the drinks industry and supermarkets. By allowing the drinks industry to propose such half-hearted pledges on alcohol with no teeth, this government has clearly shown... its first priority is to side with big business and protect private profit."
Professor Vivienne Nathanson, of the British Medical Association, another of the groups which have decided not to sign up to the deal, added: "The government has talked the talk, but when it comes to taking tough action that will achieve results, it falls short."
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