Oglala Sioux Lawsuit Against Big Alcohol Dismissed as State Issue


A federal judge has ruled that the lawsuit filed by the Oglala Sioux Tribe against five massive beer companies (Anheuser-Busch InBev, SABMiller, Molson Coors, MillerCoors LLC, and Pabst) should be considered a state issue. Of the lawsuit, which alleges that the defendant companies knowingly contributed to devastating alcohol-related problems on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard said: "There is, in fact, little question that alcohol sold in Whiteclay contributes significantly to tragic conditions on the reservation. And it may well be that the defendants could, or should, do more to try to improve those conditions for members of the tribe. But that is not the same as saying that a federal court has jurisdiction to order them to do so." The lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it can be taken by the tribe to state court.  

San Rafael City Council Passes Alcopop-Free Zone™ Resolution

AFZ-Logo-FinEarlier this month, San Rafael City Councilmembers took a bold step toward protecting youth from alcopops when they unanimously passed the country’s first city resolution supporting the creation of an Alcopop-Free Zone™.  The resolution encourages alcohol retailers to voluntarily stop selling the dangerous, youth-oriented, flavored malt beverages known as alcopops. Following a similar resolution of support from the Marin County Board of Supervisors, various San Rafael, Stinson Beach, and Bolinas retailers pulled most alcopop products from their stores. Alcohol Justice and the Youth for Justice group will continue to fight for the elimination of alcopops from Marin County retailers, and alcohol retailers throughout the country. 

U of Iowa President: A-B InBev Sponsorship Deal "A Mistake"

budweiser-university-of-iowa-neon-sign giant-e1340067130506
Back in June, the University of Iowa athletic department decided to renew its multimillion-dollar sponsorship agreement with Anheuser-Busch InBev. The deal allowed the use of the Tigerhawk logo on A-B InBev promotional items, as well as on actual beer cans. The announcement of the renewed sponsorship deal provoked media attention along with public feedback from faculty, students, and community members. The Princeton Review also named U of I the #2 "party school" for 2012. Now the University's president, Sally Mason, has changed her mind, saying in retrospect she probably wouldn't have approved the deal, and that "in this particular case…I made a mistake." Unfortunately, her school's deal with A-B InBev still stands. When another renewal comes up in three years, Mason needs to put the health and safety of U of I and the surrounding community first--and cancel the beer sponsorship deal.

New Zealand to Consider Limited Alcohol Content in Ready-to-Drink Bevs


New Zealand parliamentarian Phil Goff introduced an amendment that would limit the alcohol content of ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages to no more than 5% by volume, and no more than 1.5 standard drinks per bottle. The amendment would effectively eliminate the category of beverages known as supersized alcopops, and therefore "significantly reduce the level of alcohol consumed by young people, and the resultant degree of intoxication." The measure would be the first of its kind to address the dangers that alcopops pose to New Zealand youth, 43% of which reported drinking a ready-to-drink alcopop in their last drinking occasion.  According to Goff, the amendment is a necessary step to curtail the excessive product manufacturing aimed at youth because "the industry has had years to self-regulate. It hasn’t, and it won’t. It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house."