With or without blurring?

September 25, 2022 / Topical / Background

A glass of wine while updating your roots or not? 'Yes,' says VVD. 'Perhaps not wise after all', say D66, CDA and CU. 'No!' say doctors and health authorities. Which way is this penny going to fall? There is a lot to do around blurring.

The VVD put 'blurring' on the map in 2018. Blurring means that businesses other than those with a liquor license are also allowed to serve alcohol. Clothing and book stores, for example. Or garden centers and hairdressers.

'Because', was the reason, 'serving alcohol contributes to a more lively shopping area and can increase the turnover of shops.' A way to support entrepreneurs.

Doubt everywhere

Although D66 first went along with this amendment - the Alcohol Act must be amended to allow blurring - from D66 MP and spokesperson for Public Health Jeanet van der Laan, now also her doubts. Earlier, State Secretary Maarten van Ooijen (CU) of Public Health indicated that he was quite upset about this expansion of alcohol sales. And that is remarkable, because allowing blurring is included in the coalition agreement and the State Secretary must therefore implement it.

But alcohol is unhealthy, right?

From the health angle there is a lot of criticism of blurring. After all, a National Prevention Agreement was concluded in 2018. This contains agreements to make Dutch people healthier by reducing smoking, problematic alcohol use and overweight. The national government made these agreements with more than 70 civil society organisations. How does blurring contribute to this? Not so.

The Trimbos Institute (the national Dutch knowledge institute for mental health care, addiction care and social care) is also strongly against: “The more visible and available alcohol is, the more people drink. The Alcohol Act is there for a reason. Alcohol is a special product.”

And now?

Van der Laan says he wants to put the subject of 'blurring' back on the agenda. The agreement in the coalition agreement must therefore be discussed again. To be continued! Source: pointer.kro-ncrv.nl.

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