Germany – AB-InBev pilloried by corruption
watchdog Transparency International
Google, Amazon, Toyota and AB-Inbev are among
the least "transparent" major corporations around the world,
according to a new study. Transparency International (TI), the
Germany-based not-for-profit group, rated how openly the 105
biggest global companies reported their anti-corruption schemes,
country-by-country sales and organisational structures. AB-InBev
ranked tenth – from the bottom.
TI issued a damning verdict on 10
July 2011 that many of these global leaders “continue to publish
too little information about their commitments to comprehensive
anti-corruption systems and their sprawling operations. They
also report insufficiently on their corporate structures,
preventing clarity about their true impact in countries around
the world. As a result, the world’s largest companies may
contribute to an environment in which corruption can thrive.”
Although the report went largely unnoticed –
judging from the media response – TI is not some insignificant
meddler. It is the global civil society organisation leading the
fight against corruption. Through more than 90 chapters
worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, it raises
awareness of the damaging effects of corruption and works with
partners in government, business and civil society to develop
and implement effective measures to tackle them.
Interestingly, the report included findings
on AB-InBev because the brewer now ranks among the world’s top
105 companies by size, according to Forbes.
Other brewers will heave sighs of relief that
TI did not shed a light on their reporting practices. But, as
any long-suffering investor in beverage companies will confirm,
they rate hardly better when it comes to transparency in
In its report, TI focuses on three areas:
reporting on company’s anti-corruption programmes,
organisational transparency (which refers to disclosing how many
subsidiaries they own, at least in part), plus
country-by-country reporting (i.e. financial data across all the
countries of operations).
As concerns reporting on
anti-corruption programmes, the companies under review achieved
an average score of 68 percent (100 percent being the best
performance). Here AB-Inbev came in slightly under-average at 62
percent. The best performers were the German chemical group BASF
and Norway’s Statoil, the energy group. They scored 100 percent.
However, AB-InBev was the worst performer in
organisational transparency. Here the brewer only scored 25
transparency is particularly important in the case of
multinational companies that operate through a network of
interconnected subsidiaries, affiliates, joint-ventures and
other holdings that may be incorporated in diverse
jurisdictions, including secrecy jurisdictions”, says the TI
In the final section – country-by-country
reporting - AB-InBev did not do any better. It scored 0 percent.
But it was not alone. It was joined by 40 other companies which
shy from transparency in financial reporting of how much they
earn and pay in taxes in each market.
This is not to say that they are
engaged in dodgy shenanigans, just that they are not very open
about what they do.
TI is very well aware that the overall poor
performance by multinationals in country-by-country reporting is
the result of regulatory oversight. Meaning: companies are not
forced to do so.
On the basis of the analyses, TI has
recommended that anti-corruption programmes should be publicly
available; companies should publish exhaustive lists of their
subsidiaries, affiliates, joint-ventures and other related
entities; and they should publish individual financial accounts
for each country of operations.
Overall, AB-InBev was not the worst offender,
but by the same token it was not among the best in class.
To all appearances, TI’s findings seem to
have fallen on investors’ deaf ears because on 10 July 2012 AB-InBev
wowed the market with a USD 7.5 billion bond offering, which
drew more than USD 30 billion of orders from investors who have
been piling into U.S. dollar corporate bonds as of late. AB-InBev’s
offering consists of single-A rated bonds in four different
maturities from three to 30 years. The brewer plans to use the
money to finish its merger with Mexico's Grupo Modelo, the maker
That’s probably the reason why AB-InBev
not even acknowledged the TI report by saying that their
reporting standards are above reproach.
Still, AB-InBev is already the second brewer
to have been named and shamed by a pressure group over its
reporting standards. In November 2010 the UK charity ActionAid
accused SABMiller of siphoning profits out of developing
countries and parking them offshore, using a web of tax-haven
subsidiaries. SABMiller denied any wrongdoing and said that its
practices were within the law. ActionAid acknowledged this, but
nevertheless launched a campaign to condemn them as unethical.
Until now, multinational companies
have been able to shrug off these accusations with a smile.
Perhaps not much longer as these watchdogs progress from shock
troop to political factor and their pressure on governments to
change the rules of the game mounts.
Years ago, no one cared about environmental
pollution or the use of child labour by big multinationals.
Thanks to non-governmental organisations and their relentless
campaigning, today all multinationals at least feel compelled to
say that they abhor these practices.
Perhaps a call for more transparency in
corporate reporting does not make for sexy and
publicity-grabbing campaigns. However, this does not make the
call superfluous. ActionAid’s and TI’s crusades are a start and
eventually governments will be forced to take notice.
Germany – Radeberger comes around in
controversy over Corona bottles
Where would we be without watchful
non-governmental organisations? Having been accused by the
environmental pressure group Deutsche Umwelthilfe of dodging on
deposits (Brauwelt International reported), German brewer
Radeberger, which imports Corona, has acknowledged some
“oversight”. On 10 July 2012 Radeberger promised that it would
now put the Corona bottles into a proper recycling system,
which, according to German law, means that the empties have to
be returned to source where they are refilled and then shipped
back to Germany. In the past, the empties were collected and
shipped to Mexico to be “recycled” (whatever that means in
Mexico), in exchange for which Grupo Modelo sent new bottles to
Germany. This is in clear violation of German law.
Since only new bottles were sold in Germany,
Deutsche Umwelthilfe charged Radeberger with unlawfully
collecting a deposit of EUR 0.08 for returnable bottles, whereas
it should have asked consumers for a deposit of EUR 0.25 as
applies to non-returnable bottles.
UK - Government to assess the impact of
Home Office minister James Brokenshire has
told Parliament that the Government is to produce an Impact
Assessment on the effect of minimum pricing on the industry and
other affected parties in the coming months, the Morning
Advertiser reported on 13 July 2012.
The Home Office has set a deadline of
implementing a minimum unit price for alcohol by October 2014. A
GBP 0.40 (EUR 0.50) per-unit level has been mooted.
That’s lower than across the border in
Scotland where the government confirmed in May this year that it
wants to set a minimum price for alcohol of GBP 0.50 (EUR 0.64)
USA – Craft brewer Bell’s unveils new
brewhouse and muses on a sale
Why would any sane brewer want to use open
wooden fermenters? Why indeed. The answer is: because he wants
to. When I visited Bell’s new brewhouse in Kalamazoo, Michigan,
in June, I was shown a hall where they had fanned out the parts
of four 100 year old cypress-wood fermenters. These fermenters
were used at Stroh's Brewery until the late 1950s or early 1960s
and have been sitting in a warehouse in the Detroit area for
more than 50 years. They are 12 feet in diameter and will stand
about 8 feet tall. Stroh's was one of the largest breweries in
the country until it closed in 1985, the same year Bell's sold
its first beer.
When John Mallett, the Production Manager at
Bell’s Brewery, heard about the fermenters, he and brewery owner
Larry Bell agreed that it would be a great idea to rebuild them.
The project is large and complicated, given the age and state of
the equipment. Bell’s Brewery has no timeline for when it will
make beer. But it’s certainly a project they will enjoy
Those of you who know Larry Bell and John
Mallett will confirm that, whenever you bumped into them at
brewers’ conventions, the two would report on their latest
construction work. This has been necessitated by the brewery’s
rapid growth. Bell’s Brewery was founded in 1983 as a
home-brewing supply shop in Kalamazoo. The company has grown
from 160 hl in 1986 to 210,000 hl in 2011, ranking 7th on the
U.S. craft breweries list. For this year, Bell’s Brewery
forecasts sales of over 230,000 hl.
Australia - Casella Winery launches two
Casella Wines, the family-owned winery whose
Yellow Tail wine label rose from scratch to become the most
popular imported wine in the U.S. in almost no time, has moved
into beer with the mid-June launch of two beers:
Arvo 34 and Arvo 51.
What can Arvo mean? It’s Australian lingo for
“afternoon”, as older Australians will remember. So it’s
probably as Australian as kangaroo.
Targeting the 25-34 year-old male age/gender
bracket, Arvo is a brew aimed squarely at the Australian market
and Australian tastes.
Czech Republic - Budweiser audit to be
Looks like the Ministry of Agriculture, which
owns the Budweiser Budvar brewery, is hoping to pull a heavy
fire blanket over the controversial audit of the brewery. The
audit was supposed to have been completed in June. Now Richard
Hunt, a market observer in the Czech Republic, told me that the
Ministry informed him that the report is with them, that
somebody is reading through it and that other ministries have to
read it, too. "They seem a bit vague about it" was his
As reported, the audit was forced upon the
brewery by the Ministry in February this year in a power battle
between the Ministry and the brewery management over who's got
the most say in running the brewery.
Mr Hunt requested to see the audit under the
Czech Freedom of Information Act. The Ministry refused him
access to the audit report on the grounds that it contains
business secrets. He expected that. Still, Mr Hunt plans to
appeal against the decision.
He was told by the Ministry, though, that the
fee to the auditors has not increased despite them working on it
for months. "Such a scenario seems utterly preposterous", Mr
Hunt said. Allegedly, the Ministry is paying HZ Consult only CZK
200,000 (about EUR 8,000) for auditing Budweiser Budvar, while
HZ Consult allegedly sent in 15 auditors to do the job.
What is more, the Ministry confirmed to Mr
Hunt that the lawyer Tomas Jindra, who sparked much controversy
when he was appointed to "lead" the audit, even though he was on
Budweiser Budvar's supervisory board, was stood down from this
role in April. That was when the Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas
also kicked him off the brewery's supervisory board, where he
had installed himself at the Minister of Agriculture's behest.
Mr Hunt thinks that the Ministry of
Agriculture wants to quietly bury the audit over the summer
recess, when ordinary Czechs will have other things on their
minds - like pickling cucumbers for the winter.
Germany – Germany’s discount beer producer
Oettinger not for sale
What if Germany's major cheap beer producer
Oettinger (10 million hl) was to change hands? Who would want to
buy the secretive family-owned company? Although it was only a
teenie-weenie rumour that seems to have passed most of Germany's
gossipy beer industry bigwigs by, Oettinger's Managing Director
and owner Dirk Kollmar was still quick to extinguish it. He told
infodienst.de, an online news service, on 4 July 2012 that his
company "is not on the menu because it is writing the menu".
The most expensive Oettinger beer I
have ever had was in Moscow a few months ago. I paid EUR 7 for a
pint – more than I would have paid for a crate (10 litres) of
the beer back in Germany.
For years, if not for decades,
Oettinger brewery has been the pariah of German beer because of
its positioning in the discount segment. In the ranking of major
German beer brands, it was often ignored by Germany's big
brewers with the argument that its eponymous brand Oettinger was
not a brand but a merely a generic label they stuck on their
bottles. Then there was the not so funny discussion whether
Oettinger was really a brewery and not just a logistics company
with five breweries attached. Oettinger self-distributes to the
off-trade and ignores the on-trade.
Still, there is no denying that Oettinger has
become a major player in the German market. It brews about 6.8
million hl of its own brand and another 3 million hl of
own-label products. Moreover, it exports about 2.6 million hl
(all figures for 2011), according to Dr Kelch, a market
researcher for Brauwelt.
All this makes Oettinger the
fourth-ranking German beer producer (as measured in domestic
volumes) with a 7 percent market share. Add to that 2.6 million
hl of beer exported and Oettinger becomes a 10 million hl
It's not a moot point to speculate as to who
among its German competitors could buy it.
Belgium - AB-InBev told to stop selling
low-alcohol beer in Belgian suit
When the going gets tough ... the tough take
each other to the court. In early July 2012, the Brussels
commercial court ruled that AB-InBev must stop selling its
low-alcohol beer Jupiler Blue because its blue-and-white label
is too similar to Maes Pils, a beer brewed by Heineken's Belgian
subsidiary Alken-Maes. Alken-Maes insisted that the use of blue
bottles and cans would confuse the consumer; its blue label was
registered in 2006.
Belgian media reported that the ruling will
come into effect within a month and will only affect sales in
Belgium. Still, should there be any blue cans and bottles of
Jupiler Blue around after that, the brewer will have to pay a
fine - EUR 50 per bottle or can according to the magazine
United Kingdom - MP slams foreign beer
sponsor for British games
The Olympic Games are about to start so it's
high time for British jingoists to flex their muscles. The
LibDem Member of Parliament Greg Mulholland, who also happens to
be the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary "Save the Pub"
Group, on 6 July 2012 expressed his dismay at the Olympic
Committee's choice of Heineken, over a UK brewed beer, as the
official beer of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Mr Mulholland, who has campaigned tirelessly
on behalf of the UK brewing industry, has told British media how
disappointed he is that a European beer was chosen as the
official beer for the Games, instead of a beer traditionally
brewed in the UK.
Mr Mulholland has also called on the
Government to ensure that any further opportunities to showcase
British produce to the rest of the world are not lost to
non-British companies purely for financial benefits.
Oh dear, what was he thinking? Probably
nothing at all. Jingoism is a primitive reflex, like a knee
jerk, that does not involve thinking. Because had Mr Mulholland
stopped to think, he would have realised that there are no big
British beer brands left that are still British-owned. Carling,
Bass, Courage ... all sold to foreign brewers. Moreover,
Heineken has been brewed in the UK for decades. So what's the
Austria - Brewers to celebrate "Brewers'
New Year" on 30 September
Don't be surprised when towards the end of
September you will be greeted by a cheerful "Happy New Beer" in
Austria's bars and pubs. Austria's brewers have decided that far
too long a once-cherished tradition has been abandoned: Brewers'
New Year which used to be celebrated on 30 September.Read on
USA - Anheuser-Busch in trouble in
You win some, you lose some. AB-InBev may
have been successful in acquiring the rest of Grupo Modelo it
did not yet own, but in the U.S. it has been prevented from
buying the remaining shares in a Chicago beer distributor. In
its long-standing dispute with the Illinois regulators over the
future of its stake in Chicago's distributor City Beverage,
Anheuser-Busch (A-B) has been given until 1 October 2012 to
review its case. The request was granted on 20 June 2012.
Last year, the Illinois Liquor Control
Commission issued a new law, the craft beer law, which says that
brewers cannot operate as distributors too in the state of
A-B has owned a 30 percent stake in
distributor City Beverage for years. In 2010, A-B tried to buy
the rest of City Beverage for USD 150 million to USD 200 million
as part of a new strategy to squeeze more money out of the beer
value chain. Owning distributors, where possible, is one way to
This move was blocked by the regulators and
now A-B finds itself in violation of the new craft beer law.
The delay will give A-B time to negotiate a
settlement, or sell its share of City Beverage.
Mexico - AB-InBev buys Grupo Modelo - or
the rest it does not own yet
At long last. AB-InBev said on 29 June 2012
that it had reached agreement with Grupo Modelo's closely-tied
family shareholders which allows it to swallow the half of the
leading Mexican brewer it does not already own for USD 20.1
billion or 12.9 times EBITDA before disposals.
The deal is logical, well-priced and
AB-InBev inherited a 50.4 percent - but
non-controlling - stake in Modelo when InBev bought
Anheuser-Busch for about USD 52 billion in 2008. The enlarged
group had hoped to mop up the rest of the Mexican brewer, but
the controlling families launched arbitration proceedings,
claiming that the deal broke an agreement that Modelo should be
consulted over any change in control of the stake. The
arbitration panel ruled in favour of AB-InBev in 2010.
For the sake of appearances, Modelo's CEO
Carlos Fernandez has been saying for several years that the
controlling shareholders are not interested in selling their
stake to partner AB-InBev but these claims have always had a
false ring to them.
Readers will remember that Grupo Modelo was
quite willing to succumb to an offer by Anheuser-Busch in 2008,
when the U.S. brewer was besieged by InBev. At the time,
Anheuser-Busch hoped that gobbling up Modelo would make it too
big to be taken over by InBev. In the end, the talks came to
nothing because August Busch III changed his mind and took
InBev's money instead.
Over the past few years, Grupo Modelo has
become an even more attractive target. Mexico's per capita beer
consumption is growing at about 3 percent annually. Already it
is the world's number four beer market behind the U.S., Japan
and Brazil in terms of total profits. In 2011, the total beer
profit pool stood at USD 1.7 billion, AB-InBev said at the
Grupo Modelo, which produced 56 million hl
beer last year, is the leader in the Mexican market with a share
of 59 percent. Its sole competitor is FEMSA, which is owned by
What makes Grupo Modelo even more of a prized
asset is its brand Corona Extra. 12.7 million hl of Corona were
exported in 2011 Carlos Brito, CEO of AB-InBev said. Corona is
the major import brand in the U.S. and it is well positioned
among the top ten international premium beer brands. Exports
helped Grupo Modelo to total sales of USD 6.4 billion last year
and an EBITDA of USD 2.1 billion.
Through the full takeover of Grupo Modelo,
AB-InBev will own four of the world's ten major international
premium brands (Corona, Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Beck's) -
a fact that will not be lost on the analysts.
The reason AB-InBev has had to wait until now
to make a final move on Modelo, although its top brass have sat
on Modelo's board for the past four years, is money. AB-InBev
first had to pay down debt from the Anheuser-Busch deal before
it could afford Modelo. The Mexican shareholders were in no rush
to sell. All of them being wealthy individuals, they saw no need
to accept a rock-bottom offer.
AB-InBev is paying USD 9.15 per share in cash
which represents a premium of 30 percent to the closing price of
Modelo's shares on 22 June 2012. AB-InBev said it has added USD
14 billion of new bank loans to fund the all-cash transaction,
adding that it will reduce its net debt/core profit (EBITDA)
ratio to 2.0 times during 2014.
Over the next four years, AB-InBev expects to
reap cost savings to the order of at least USD 600 million a
year. Given AB-InBev's phenomenal track record of cost-cutting
at Anheuser-Busch, it's likely that the savings will be higher.
AB-InBev would not say who is going to lead
Modelo in the future. Modelo's CEO Carlos Fernández and fellow
shareholders María Asunción Aramburuzabala and Valentín Díez
Morodo will continue to play "an important role" on Grupo
Modelo’s board of directors, Mr Brito said. Two of Grupo
Modelo’s board members will join AB InBev’s board - AB-InBev did
not say who - and they have committed to invest USD 1.5 billion
of their proceeds from the sale into shares of AB-InBev.
The new and bigger AB-InBev will produce
about 400 million hl beer a year, with estimated revenues of USD
47 billion and EBITDA of USD 18 million.
To avoid the wrath of the U.S. anti-trust
authorities, Grupo Modelo will sell its 50 percent stake in
Crown Imports, its import vehicle in the U.S., to partner
Constellation Brands, a listed wine company. Constellation will
pay Modelo USD 1.85 billion for the Crown business, whose
profits were USD 400 million last year (EBITDA), Felipe Dutra,
CFO of AB-InBev said.
Crown Imports distributes Modelo beers in the
U.S. in a deal that runs to the end of 2016, it was reported.
The agreement between AB-Inbev and Constellation provides AB-InBev
with the right, but not the obligation, to exercise a call
option for 100 percent of Crown every ten years at a fixed
multiple of 13 times EBIT, subject to regulatory approval.
Had Modelo not sold its stake in
Crown Imports, the combined Modelo-AB-InBev market share in the
U.S. would have risen to perhaps 56 percent, leading to
In any case, the
sale to Constellation allows AB-InBev to organise Modelo as it
deems fit and decide in a few years' time what to do about its
U.S. licence for Corona. Concerning the other international
licences for Corona - the brand is sold in 180 countries - Mr
Brito said that AB-InBev would respect them. But he also
admitted that AB-InBev never had access to these contracts, not
even during the recent due diligence process, which could be
interpreted as another nod to the U.S. anti-trust authorities.
The transaction is expected to close
in the first quarter of 2013.
USA – Constellation seen as the big winner
from the AB-InBev-Modelo deal
U.S. wine company Constellation Brands is one
to benefit big time from the AB-InBev-Modelo deal. In a side
deal meant to allay antitrust concerns over the Modelo purchase,
Constellation Brands has entered into an agreement with AB-InBev
to acquire the remaining 50 percent stake of Crown Imports, the
Corona importer in the United States.
Per the agreement, Constellation Brands will
pay USD 1.85 billion (EUR 1.5 billion) to complete the Crown
Import acquisition and will hold the right of distribution,
marketing and pricing of Modelo’s brands in the United States.
AB-InBev will be responsible for maintaining the supply and
quality of products along with innovations.
Crown Imports, the Modelo-Constellation
joint-venture, had USD 2.5 billion in sales last year with EBIT
standing at USD 430 million (EUR 345 million). It is the number
three beer supplier in the U.S. with an estimated 6 percent of
the market. Corona is the leading U.S. imported beer, and
Crown's Modelo Especial is number three.
Many think that the Crown purchase could
heighten pressure on Dutch brewer Heineken, the fourth-largest
U.S. supplier, with roughly 4 percent of the market.
After the completion of the deal,
Constellation Brands will become - on a volume basis – the
third-largest beverage alcohol company in the United States.
Constellation Brands is not exactly loaded
with cash to fund the acquisition and will have to ask the banks
to help it out. It is anticipated that the acquisition will
increase Constellation Brands’ debt to over 4 times EBITDA,
which is a lot.
USA – Budweiser Budvar ends distribution
deal with Anheuser-Busch
The state-owned Czech brewery Budejovicky
Budvar (Budweiser Budvar) on 3 July 2012 terminated its U.S.
distribution deal with AB-InBev and transferred the rights to
distributor United State Beverages based in Stamford,
Anheuser-Busch - now AB-InBev - agreed to distribute Budvar's
Czechvar lagers in the United States. Because of trademark
issues, Budvar has exported its lager to the U.S. under the
Czechvar brand since 2001.
Originally, the move helped Budvar, which has
been fighting a long legal battle with Anheuser-Busch over the
use of the "Budweiser" brand, boost U.S. sales.
But Budvar said after Anheuser-Busch was
taken over by InBev in 2008, it lost interest in importing
Czechvar and didn't meet the imports goals for 2011.
China - Tsingtao plans threesome with Suntory
Anyone into threesomes? Apparently, naughty
Tsingtao is wanting to pull Japan's Suntory into its bed while
Asahi is fearing it will have to relinquish the pillow. That's
the more colourful interpretation of what is currently happening
at Tsingtao, China's number two brewer, in which Asahi has a 20
Germany – Brewer Radeberger attacked by
environmentalists for dodging deposits on Corona bottles
Deutsche Umwelthilfe, an environmental
pressure group, on 4 July 2012 took on Radeberger, Germany’s
major brewer and Corona Extra importer, over allegedly not
shipping empty Corona bottles back to Mexico for them to be
refilled, despite charging German consumers a deposit of EUR
0.08 per bottle for doing just this. Had Radeberger declared the
Corona bottles to be non-refillable, which Deutsche Umwelthilfe
suspects they really are, the brewer would have had to charge
consumers a higher deposit of EUR 0.25 per bottle.
Germany’s environmental legislation frowns
upon non-refillable beverage containers and levies a deposit of
EUR 0.25 on those bottles which are not returned to their source
to be refilled. Deutsche Umwelthilfe claims that Radeberger has
misled consumers over the bottles’ ultimate destination – the
bin rather than Modelo’s filling hall - thus securing itself a
lower retail price (about EUR 4 per crate).
Australia - Kirin buys full control of
Australian craft brewer Little World Beverages
There is always some reason in madness. On 18
June 2012, in a surprise announcement, brewer Lion confirmed an
agreement with the board of Little World Beverages (LWB) to
acquire, by way of a Scheme of Arrangement, the 64 percent of
shares in LWB it does not already own. The deal values LWB, a
craft beer brewer, best known for its brand Little Creatures,
with an estimated annual output of 80,000 hl beer, at about AUD
380 million (EUR 312 million) which is plenty of dosh.
LWB was founded in 2000 and was listed on the
Australian stock exchange in 2005. For the six months to 31
December 2011 it posted a 22 percent increase in revenue to AUD
43.4 million and a net profit of AUD 6.1 million. In its past
financial year LWB had a turnover of AUD 70 million (EUR 58
million) and an EBITDA of AUD 16.6 million (EUR 14 million).
The amazing thing about this deal is the
amount of money Lion is prepared to pay: apparently it’s about
20 times EBITDA while Foster's went for 12. Now spend a moment
to let this information sink in. To all appearances, Lion's
owner Kirin has given its Australian unit Lion the carte blanche
to buy whatever becomes available in the craft beer segment.
It's an interesting titbit that Lion could also end up with a 20
percent stake in Australian craft brewer Stone & Wood if the
takeover of LWB goes ahead.
India - Mumbai clamps down on alcohol
It's a hoot - if you can see the funny side
of it. The City authorities of Mumbai announced in early June
2012 that they would enforce the archaic Bombay
Prohibition Act of 1949, which means that any
person who is carrying a bottle or caught consuming alcohol in a
bar without permit would be fined 50,000 rupees (EUR 710) or
jailed for five years. From now on, drinking without a permit
will be as serious an offence as driving without a licence.
USA - New York City wants to ban super-size
You would have thought that all Americans are
overweight hulks, straddled with so much fat that they cannot
see their own toes - that's the impression one gets from
following the news. Recent studies have shown that almost two
thirds of the country's population are overweight or obese.
Availability and advertising seem to contribute to this problem.
Limiting both appears to be the answer. In New York City, the
mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to prohibit licensed food service
outlets from selling containers bigger than 16 ounces, roughly
half a litre, of high-calorie drinks like cola, lemonade and
punch. This is part of the mayor's plan to fight obesity
announced in late May 2012.
2009 december ·