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The proposal to appoint a key figure in the drinks industry to the Board of RTE speaks volumes about our commitment as a nation to tackling the greatest social issue facing our country at this time.
In Ireland, television is the most powerful instrument available to the drinks industry, enabling it to promote its products to young and old, as it has done for well over 50 years since the establishment of the national television service. For that reason, the possibility that a person who has headed up a drinks industry funded ‘social responsibility agency’ could sit on the board beggars belief.
The drinks industry is fighting to influence decision-makers at all levels to ensure that the State does not step in to regulate the advertising and promotion of alcohol, as has been the case in other countries, notably in France where the Loi Evin law limits the exposure of alcohol promotion to younger people.
Whether or not this appointment goes ahead is now in the hands of a Minister who up to recently was responsible for the formulation of health policy in relation to alcohol and its promotion.
Lets hope he sees the big picture.
Deel Medical Centre
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