Unfortunately, the feature by Evelyn Gillan (Friends of The Scotsman, 24 October) is seriously misleading in a very important aspect: alcohol in Scotland is in fact already highly controlled and regulated.
Alcohol can only be sold in licensed premises, during specific hours of the day and in prescribed sections of a shop. Premises’ managers must have a personal licence and alcohol is age-restricted by law.
Alcohol cannot be sold next to food displays, and in Scotland there have been bans in place on promotional and advertising activities since the Alcohol Act of 2010.
Retailers have fully implemented the Challenge 25 age verification scheme and indeed have taken this further by having refusal registers and in-house test purchasing.
The inconvenient truth is that alcohol consumption in Scotland has been declining since at least 2003. It is difficult to see how alcohol in Scotland could be more tightly regulated without outright prohibition. Perhaps that is the real agenda here.
Scottish Grocers’ Federation