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French Parliament debates wine laws

The French National Assembly is this week debating amendments to a raft of laws aimed at stopping under-age drinking.

The legislation, titled ‘hospital, patients, health, territory’, also contains several measures with far wider consequences for the wine industry.

Measures being debated in the Assembly include a ban on free wine tasting, more specific health warnings on bottles, and the legality of mentioning wine on the internet. Forty such projects are being discussed.

French broadsheet Le Figaro said the wine and health lobbies within the government faced a ‘war of amendments’.

Marie Christine Tarby of wine lobby Vins et Societe told decanter.com some of the measures were ‘crazy’.

‘There are 600,000 French wines referenced on the internet,’ she said. ‘It is crazy to say the wine industry doesn’t need the internet; that it is just the big beer and spirits companies who are affected.’

A proposed amendment to the controversial Evin Law regulating alcohol and tobacco advertising was also inserted by politician Richard Mallie ‘to allow journalists to mention wine or champagne in a press article without being accused of indirect advertising.’

A vote is expected next week.

Written by Jane Anson, and Oliver Styles

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