Cayetano wants alcopops out of store shelves, repackaged
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Pia Cayetano on Friday called for a pull out of alcopops, a flavored alcoholic beverage, from store shelves and urged manufacturers to change its packaging.
During Thursday’s hearing of the Senate committee on ways and means, Cayetano presented samples of alcopops, which, she noted, could be mistaken for a harmless drink because of its “very colorful” packaging that could be “very attractive” to children.
Cayetano is the chair of the Senate’s ways and means panel.
“It is easily available in convenient stores, grocery stores, and hindi hinihingan ng ID sa pagbayad. You should not be selling this to minors,” Cayetano stressed.
She also noted that in some stores, alcopops, which contain alcohol that is at times higher than beer, are placed beside juice drinks.
“It is packaged in a very colorful packaging that is very attractive to kids and I was quite surprised because I found out that some of the outlets carrying the alcopop, they display it beside juice products,” the senator said in a subsequent interview with reporters.
She urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to facilitate the recall of such products from stores nationwide.
“Nananawagan ako sa FDA and nananawagan ako sa mga companies that are producing this kind of product, let’s be very conscious. It is unethical and unlawful to sell these products to children because it has seven percent alcohol which is more than beer,” Cayetano said.
“Sana we don’t have to wait for us to pass a law to recognize that there is something inherently wrong with trying to sell a product that is packaged to make it very attractive to children and has seven percent alcohol,” she added.
She also proposed that alcopops be moved to the liquor section of stores and that stores designate separate checkout counters for alcoholic beverages so they can thoroughly check if customers are of legal age to buy liquor.
“There are so many ways to go around the rule. Let’s not make it easy because alcohol naman is not meant to be consumed by minors,” Cayetano said. /kga
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