British Government Allows Sale of Alcoholic Food to Children
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The British government is facing stiff accusations after repealing a law that prohibited children from buying food that contains alcohol.
The Deregulation Bill repealed a 2003 law that made it a criminal offense to sell food that contained alcohol to children under the age of 16. Now, children are free to purchase alcoholic confectionary, though certain items, like vodka ice cream, are still restricted to adults over the age of 18.
Labour peer Lord Brooke said alcohol companies pressured ministers to repeal the law, and claims the number of “children who are presenting drunk” rose in 2013.
“Isn’t it true that the government has responded to the industry’s pressure to remove the law that presently deters the sale of liquor to children in other forms in food,” Brooke asked Home Office spokeswoman Baroness Williams of Trafford. “Because the sale of alcohol in liquid forms has been declining the industry is now seeking to extend the areas in which it is selling alcohol in other forms, particularly those available to children, like ice cream with vodka in it; sorbets with vodka in it.”
Williams said the repeal doesn't affect the laws surrounding the purchase of alcoholic ice creams and sorbets, noting they still cannot be sold to children under the age of 18. While children can consume some foods that contain alcohol, they would have to eat “vast quantities” to equate to a single glass of wine, she added.
“The rules are that 0.2 liters per kilogram is the limit and that is to stop vast quantities of alcohol being put into food,” Williams said.