5 Aug 2017

Doctors want to ban supermarket booze

5:30 pm on 5 August 2017

Supermarkets should stop selling cheap alcohol, the Medical Association says.

Alcohol

The Medical Association wants all supermarkets to have minimum pricing for alcohol. Photo: RNZ

The association said alcohol contributed to road deaths and domestic violence, it also caused liver disease and several types of cancer.

Its chairwoman, Kate Baddock, said supermarkets in some Australian states have already completely banned its sale.

The association said ultimately that is what it also wanted for New Zealand supermarkets but for now it is pushing for all supermarkets to have minimum pricing for alcohol, higher taxes and reduced exposure to booze.

Ms Baddock said it was important to de-normalise alcohol so it was not seen as a normal grocery item.

"So instead of putting it beside the milk and the bread and therefore thinking of it as a part of every day life, is to say well actually if I want to drink alcohol I have to somewhere where it particularly sells alcohol," she said.

However, Foodstuffs - which owns the New World, Four Square and Pak'nSave chains - said majority of its customers were responsible consumers and buying alcohol with food was a responsible way of shopping.

Foodstuffs spokesperson Antoinette Laird said there were already many restrictions on where alcohol could be located and how it was advertised.

Ms Laird said there was no truth to the claim that alcohol was cheaper in supermarkets than in liquor stores.

And there was no evidence that alcohol bought in supermarkets was associated with more alcohol-related harm than liquor bought elsewhere.

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