2023 California Legislative Roundup

A baseball player in a white uniform stands in front of a large scoreboard, he is a prevention advocate and the other team is Big AlcoholThe 2023 California legislative session wrapped up at the end of October. It was a strange one, marked by Governor Gavin Newsom going on a veto spree, knocking off nearly 30% of the bills presented to him over a 3-day period.

But as we feared from an executive whose private success has come through the alcohol industry, the red pen did not touch any of the concerning alcohol-related bills.Of the 29 bills tracked by Alcohol Justice this year, none were vetoed, and 18 (62%) were signed into law. All of California's alcohol-related bills, including summaries and our analysis, are compiled on the California Legislative Tracker page.

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Is Big Alcohol Attacking Irish Sovereignty?

A dimly lit empty meeting room, in which a liquor bottle sits on a wood table, with rows of chairs alongside itIn late May, Ireland made regulatory history by becoming the first country to enact stringent alcohol warning label requirements. Going well beyond the small, cramped, and oft-ignored warnings on U.S. bottles, the Irish warnings were eyecatching, comprehensive--including cancer risk--and provided a number of different labels in rotation. All of these were in accordance with the emerging global best practices around effective health education, and intended to stem the growing alcohol morbidity and mortality in the country.

Needless to say, the industry quickly moved to assert a popular, effective, evidence-based policy intended to save and extend lives could not stand. Raising objections before the June 21 meeting of the World Trade Organization, it sought to kill the Irish government's policy through the interests of other governments, including the United States.

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BREAKING: Ireland Trailblazes Alcohol Health Warning Label Requirements

a tweet describing the signing of the first alcohol labeling requirement in Ireland above a screen capture of a bald white man in galsses, white collared shirt, and black tie, sitting at a wood desk, signing papersOn May 22, Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly announced via Twitter that Ireland was enacting the first comprehensive policy requiring health warning labels on all alcohol products. Alcohol health warning labels are an essential means to educate the public and allow for informed decisions about drinking, but are stridently opposed by most industry groups. The Irish policy sets a precendent  for other countries in the EU and international community to follow, and Alcohol Justice will keep you updated as this vital initiative gains steam.

READ MORE about the Liquor Bottle Label Battle.