Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Christmas Gift for the PLCB

I don't often do things for free, and I don't do much at all to help the PLCB. But in the spirit of Christmas, here is my gift to them. I'm giving it to them early, so maybe they can get a head start on using it. I'm not optimistic about that, but you never know.

One shining example of beneficial government regulation is the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture registration for all baked goods (widely defined as any food that has been cooked in any way). They are good and sensible health regulations for those foods. That is why you see "Reg. Penna. Dept. Agr." on so many products. If you sell it in Pennsylvania, it must comply with the rules we have here.
HARK!  I bring you higher variable prices!
If the PLCB is going to pick our pockets with "variable pricing," they could try to make it up by applying the same kind of forward thinking the Department of Agriculture did in 1933 to protect the citizens. How about if the PLCB required labeling for the amount of added sugar in wine and liquor? There are some wines that have the same amount of sugar per serving as Mountain Dew (Barefoot Moscato is one), and of course the flavored whiskeys and rums almost all have large amounts of sugar.

By requiring sugar content labeling, the PLCB could finally help improve, in some small but significant way, the health of the citizens. It's not completely new, either: both the LCBO (the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, the largest purchaser of wine and spirits in the world), and the Quebec SAQ (their liquor board) require the sugar content be made available on their websites already, so every major vintner, along with thousands of smaller ones have the information ready to go.

The PLCB could and should go further by mandating sugar content be listed on the label. Like anything governmental, it doesn't have to be immediate, say one year to get the sugar content info on the website, and then four years before it HAS to be listed on the label.

So if the PLCB really wants to be a world-class leader, wants to benefit the citizens, wants to help combat poor health, and wants to do something for the first time in 83 years that actually is helpful to their owners (that's us!), they should jump on this bandwagon wholeheartedly. I know it will be a hard pill to swallow, taking an idea from me, but guys: you can always claim it was "under consideration" for the past few years. I won't tell.

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