MINIMUM PRICING: GREEN MSP WELCOMES CHALLENGE TO SWA
Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today welcomed an open letter from senior doctors and health charities challenging the Scotch Whisky Association's delaying of minimum pricing for alcohol.
Greens were the only opposition MSPs to support the measure in the 2007-11 parliament and again voted for it when it was passed two years ago but it has been delayed by a legal challenge from the SWA. A judge ruled against the SWA but the lobby group is appealing the decision.
Doctors and charities accuse the SWA of mirroring the tactics of the tobacco industry in delaying life-saving legislation.
Patrick Harvie MSP said:
"Charities and doctors are right to challenge the Scotch Whisky Association, and we can only hope public pressure mounts. Many of these companies are vastly profitable multinationals, not traditional independent distillers, and they seem all too willing to risk public health for bigger profits.
"The situation is another sad example of how corporate interests stifle democracy, from the historic tactics of big tobacco to the childish antics of Donald Trump. Two years on from minimum pricing being passed by parliament, it's clearer than ever that we need to challenge the dominance of the drinks industry by big firms whose focus will always be profit. They overshadow the welcome growth of small, independent brewers and distillers who put quality ahead of volume sales, and genuinely benefit our local communities.”
The open letter
In the 2007-11 session of parliament Greens were the only opposition party to support the government and vote for minimum pricing. Greens have always recognised it is not a "silver bullet" but rather one practical action that can benefit public health.