With the recent spate of reports on alcohol abuse and drinking problems in the U.S., it’s no surprise local and state governments are going to extremes to stop underage drinking. Lawmakers in New Hampshire have gone so far as to ban Founders Breakfast Stout from its shelves, says First We Feast, because the well-respected stout’s label features an image of a baby eating oatmeal, which legislators fear might encourage minors to drink.
New Hampshire state representative Keith Murphy (R) recently introduced a bill to the state legislature that would amend the current rule to allow certain images of minors on alcohol labels, as long as it was obvious that they weren’t encouraging underage drinking. It just so happens that Mr. Murphy also owns a bar, and part of his rationale for the measure was to be able to stock the beer in question for his customers.
Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), not a bar owner, had other plans and vetoed the bill. “Substance misuse, including alcohol misuse, continues to be one of the major public health and safety challenges facing us as a state,” she said following her decision. “Moreover, statistics suggest that New Hampshire has among the highest rates of underage drinking in the country.”
Murphy’s reaction? “No reasonable person would believe that this label is intended to appeal to minors in any way.” If anything, wouldn’t it encourage them to eat more oatmeal? [First We Feast][Photo: Flickr/Mike Mozart]