Home » News
Home » News

Russian ban on Polish apples sparks cider debate

Published August 22, 2014 9:49 am

Dilemma • Should Poland help struggling apple growers at risk of enflaming alcoholism?
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Warsaw, Poland • Poland's economy ministry wants the nation of beer and vodka lovers to drink more cider.

The ministry, which is struggling to help apple producers hurt by a Russian embargo on European foods, has proposed exempting cider from a law that bans advertising any alcohol other than beer.

But the Health Ministry and other health advocates are fighting the proposal. They say it is dangerous to encourage any alcohol consumption at all in a society that does not share the Mediterranean tradition of simply savoring small amounts of wine or beer at mealtimes.

"Poles are not light drinkers — it's the Eastern European model," said Krzysztof Brzozka, director of the State Agency for the Prevention of Alcohol Related Problems.

He said there are some people who don't like the bitterness of beer or other strong drinks who could take a dangerous liking to the lightness and sweetness of cider, which is currently consumed in only small quantities in Poland. For instance, young women could start drinking more, increasing the already high number of infants with fetal alcohol syndrome.

His agency, which is under the umbrella of the Health Ministry, is fighting the proposed change, which is to be debated in the Senate after it convenes in late September.

The Economy Ministry says it makes no sense to ban advertising cider when there is no similar ban on beer, which has a similar alcohol content.

The changes it has proposed to the so-called "law on educating about sobriety and counteracting alcoholism" are meant to help Polish farmers use the excess apples swamping the market due to the embargo that Moscow imposed weeks ago.

Poland is a major global apple exporter and had previously sent half its output to Russia.






Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus