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NA deputies want citizens to put down the bottle

Update: April, 13/2019 - 09:50
The draft law on alcohol harm prevention was discussed at the ongoing 33rd session of the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee yesterday.— VNA/VNS Photo


HÀ NỘI — The draft law on alcohol harm prevention was discussed at the ongoing 33rd session of the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee yesterday.

Most NA members agreed that homemade alcohol needed to be managed to prevent harm to people’s health. However, they said, any regulation must be feasible and administrative procedures must be simplified.

In response to a proposal from some deputies who suggested banning the production of homemade alcohol for commercial purposes, the Standing Committee said it was not suitable and infeasible.

The committee said regulations on quality assurance and food safety, which are requirements for business licences for trading alcohol, already covered in article 12 and 14 of the draft law. 

Chairman of the NA Committee for Science and Technology and Environment Phan Xuân Dũng said homemade alcohol was a technological problem but the most important thing was food safety.

Agreeing, Nguyễn Khắc Định, chairman of NA’s Legal Affairs Committee, said it was important to manage the output of homemade liquor to ensure it’s not poisonous, meets quality requirements and doesn’t affect people's health.

Phan Thanh Bình, Chairman of the NA Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children, proposed not differentiating between industrial and homemade alcohol. He said more attention should be paid to the registration and quality of the product.

NA chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân emphasised that the issuance of the law should not affect the production of traditional homemade alcohol but its quality must be ensured.

Many deputies also suggested strengthening education relating to the harms of alcohol, with accurate, objective and complete information.

As media reports to educate about the harmful effects of alcohol and beer are very important, the compiling agency must carry out research to concretise the provisions of the law and direct communication activities to all potential consumers of alcohol, especially children, pregnant women and young people, Ngân said.

“It is necessary for consumers to be aware of the harmful effect of alcohol and change their behaviour,” she said, positing that once awareness was improved, the demand for alcohol would be reduced.

Concluding the discussion, Tòng Thị Phóng, NA Vice Chairman asked the compiling agency to finish the draft law based on comments of NA Standing Committee, and submit it to the NA for consideration at the next session.

A Government report on thrift and combatting wastefulness in 2018 and the Law on Libraries were also discussed by the NASC on Friday. VNS

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