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Alcohol: No Ordinary CommodityResearch and Public Policy$
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Thomas F. Babor, Raul Caetano, Sally Casswell, Griffith Edwards, Norman Giesbrecht, Kathryn Graham, Joel W. Grube, Linda Hill, Harold Holder, Ross Homel, Michael Livingston, Esa Österberg, Jürgen Rehm, Robin Room, and Ingeborg Rossow

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199551149

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199551149.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 June 2021

International context of alcohol policy

International context of alcohol policy

(p.87) Chapter 6 International context of alcohol policy
Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity

Thomas Babor

Harold Holder

Raul Caetano

Ross Homel

Sally Casswell

Michael Livingston

Griffith Edwards

Esa Österberg

Norman Giesbrecht

Jürgen Rehm

Kathryn Graham

Robin Room

Joel Grube

Ingeborg Rossow

Linda Hill

Oxford University Press

In recent decades the operating assumption in international agreements has been to treat alcoholic beverages as ordinary commodities like bread and milk or coffee and tea. In a world of increasing international trade and globalization of the alcohol industry, this has meant that national and local alcohol control policies have increasingly come under pressure because of decisions at the international level. This chapter describes how these pressures have arisen and how they affect national and local alcohol policies and the prospects for alcohol control at the international level. It is argued that the current situation in international trade and market regimes can be changed by purposive action in the interests of public health and social welfare. Much of the material on which this chapter is based comes from the European Union (EU), but the lessons learned from the European countries are relevant to other parts of the world as well. To deal with the burden of illness resulting from alcohol, and to counter the view that alcohol is an ordinary commodity, public health organizations have begun to formulate strategies and interventions that can be used by governments to protect the health of their populations. The final part of the chapter discusses the role of the World Health Organization in providing a broader perspective on the international context of alcohol policies.

Keywords:   alcohol policy, alcoholic beverages, alcohol trade, international trade agreements, economic treaties

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