MEP calls for booze ad ban

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called for a ban on alcohol advertising in the European Union.

Ms Anderson made the call during Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm (AWARH).

The MEP said; “The European Union is the highest drinking region in the world resulting in huge level of harm.

“Twelve per cent of children across the European Union live in families adversely affected by alcohol.

“As well as the cost to health, alcohol-related harm also costs the economy more than €155 billion every year, of which €74 billion is a result of productivity losses.

“Alcohol is linked to more than 60 diseases including cancer, liver and digestive diseases, alcohol dependency and depression.

“At this morning’s event I asked the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, is he could commit to an advertising ban during his time in office.

“He agreed on the need for such a ban but acknowledged if will be a challenge.

“I will continue to lobby for all measures to protect people from alcohol-related harm.”

The MEP has previously been a vocal campaigner against tobacco advertising.

Despite this the pension contributions of hundreds of public sector workers and local politicians - including Ms Anderson’s party colleagues - are still invested in alcohol, tobacco and arms companies, by way of the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC) pension fund.