Bass backs crackdown on alcopops

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The Independent Online
Bass, the brewer at the centre of the alcopops row, has slammed the manufactures of alcoholic milkshakes such as "Moo" for giving alcopops a bad name.

Bass is lobbying the Government to clamp down on "irresponsible manufacturers and retailers of alcopops". It has also hit back at critics by announcing a series of measures it wants introduced to stamp out the consumption of its leading alcopop brand Hoopers Hooch by under-age drinkers.

"There are many irresponsible brands on the market. We want those banned," says a senior source at Bass Brewers.

Bass wants the Office of Fair Trading to give the industry powers to crack down on off-licences that are known to serve under-age drinkers. Bass is also willing to fund the introduction of a national proof of age card and give money to schools to improve knowledge of the damaging effect of alcohol abuse.

Its actions have been prompted by the public outcry over the sale of alcopops and the move by the new Labour Government to launch its own review. Bass submitted its proposals to Under Secretary of State George Howarth last week. It claims that most young drinkers prefer other drinks such as cider and spirits.

The move is being interpreted as a bid to persuade the Government to scrap plans for a further tax hike in tax on alcopops. The Co-op and Iceland retailing chains banned the sale of alcopops from over 2,000 of their nationwide stores last week.