Ice cream "wine" is prevalent this summer, experts warn

Wine companies compete for the young market

Do not "hurt" minors

Editor's note

Not long ago, this newspaper published "Alcoholic ice cream, is it wine or ice cream?" Expert: Alcohol content exceeding 0.5% vol is alcoholic drinks must not be sold to minors", which aroused a large number of reprints and social attention, and the manuscript reached 10,<>+ views on the WeChat public account of this newspaper. Many readers left messages saying that the sale of alcoholic ice cream should be regulated to protect the legitimate rights and interests of minors. There are also media comments: the alcohol content of alcoholic ice cream cannot be concealed.

At the same time, some readers reported to this reporter: The shape or outer packaging of some ice cream is like a wine bottle, can such ice cream be sold to minors? There are many varieties of alcoholic ice cream on the market, most of which are sold together with ordinary ice cream, how should law enforcement and judicial departments regulate them?

The Law on the Protection of Minors establishes the principle of the best interests of minors, and the protection of minors is also the common responsibility of the whole society. In response to social concerns and further promote the development of alcohol-related ice cream regulations, the reporter conducted an in-depth investigation and interview again.

□ Zhou Bin and Wen Lijuan, reporters of this newspaper

□ Ding Yi, trainee reporter of this newspaper

"The ice cream is shaped like a wine bottle, and when the child bought it, I was shocked and thought the child was drinking." In early September, Ms. Zhang from Zaozhuang, Shandong Province, came home from work to see a fourth-grade child holding something in the shape of a wine bottle in her hand.

Ms. Zhang said that this summer, her children bought a variety of ice creams from shops near their home and school, including some alcoholic ice cream, some of which were exactly the same shape and packaging as wine bottles, which worried her and "affected the child's physical and mental health."

From alcoholic ice cream to bottle ice cream, ice cream "wine" is prevalent this summer.

A number of experts recently said in an interview with the "Rule of Law Daily" reporter that wine companies have launched new products such as alcoholic ice cream and bottle ice cream to seize the young people's market, which may be understandable, but do not "hurt" minors. It is recommended that market supervision departments strengthen supervision and issue corresponding standards, and procuratorial organs may also file public interest lawsuits to promote the regulation of the market and protect the lawful rights and interests of minors.

Ice cream "wine" gas prevails

Many minors eat it

The reporter's previous investigation found that on online shopping platforms and takeaway platforms, Moutai ice cream, Madieer rum-flavored popsicles, Shaoxing rice wine popsicles, etc. are very impressive, and some products have more than 5,<> after-sales evaluations. Offline, all kinds of alcoholic ice cream are selling hot, and they are sold in many shops, some of which are located near primary and secondary schools.

Most of these alcoholic ice creams are not labeled with alcohol content, and when consulting customer service, some are called "trace amounts" and "small amounts"; Whether it is on the outer packaging of ice cream or when sold by merchants, most of them do not have risk warnings such as "the product contains alcohol" and "minors should not eat". Most of the answers given by merchants to the question of whether minors and even elementary school students can eat such ice cream are "can be eaten with confidence" or "can be eaten in small quantities".

In this investigation, the reporter found that the ice cream sold by many merchants not only has the intrinsic nature of "wine", but also the appearance of "wine". According to incomplete statistics, there are nearly 10 types of ice cream in wine bottles being sold on the market.

For example, the outer packaging of an ice cream is printed with a picture of German dark beer, and after tearing the outer packaging, the ice cream in the shape of a beer bottle is revealed. The reporter tasted it, the "beer cap" is made of chocolate crispy, which can be "opened" like a bottle cap, and the ice cream has the taste of wine. On the Internet, some netizens commented on this bottle of ice cream: "The feel of opening the bottle cap is close to the real thing, there is a feeling of drinking" and "a mouthful of pulp, addictive".

There is also an ice cream launched by a liquor brand, which sells as "0% alcohol but has the strong flavor of wine", and its appearance design is almost the same as that of the bottle. Some netizens said: "Eating ice cream is the same as drinking, but the taste of alcohol is a little light, which hooks up alcohol addiction." ”

While the ice cream is shaped like a wine bottle, some promotional slogans are also very eye-catching, and some also combine drinking scene phrases, such as "I'm dry, you 'change'" and "Why can adult ice cream be eaten 'change'?" ——Because no one cares" "It's so good to be an adult, who wants to be a baby" and so on.

In the interview, the reporter found that the consumers of alcoholic ice cream and bottle ice cream included a large number of minors and even primary school students.

"It's good to be an adult, no one cares, you can eat whatever you want." Xiao Wang, a fifth-grade elementary school student in Beijing, said that he and many of his classmates had bought alcoholic ice cream and bottled ice cream, "opened the bottle of ice cream, unscrewed the lid, smelled of alcohol, and felt like an adult."

On the Internet, some bloggers posted photos of their children tasting wine bottle ice cream: a little girl aged seven or eight, holding a wine bottle-shaped ice cream, biting the "bottle cap" with her back teeth like an adult. In the message, some people called it fun, and some people raised questions.

"Alcoholic ice cream and bottle ice cream are the temptation of children's drinking spirit." Xiao Wang's mother believes that the child is curious and has no ability to discriminate, and if the child can easily buy alcoholic ice cream and bottle ice cream, it may drive the child's yearning for tasting alcohol, "I hope the relevant departments can regulate this behavior of the business."

This is also the common voice of many parents interviewed.

Lower vigilance to induce drinking

Endangering the health of minors

Parents' concern is that eating alcoholic ice cream, even in small amounts, will affect their children's health.

In this regard, Lu Lin, deputy to the National People's Congress and director of the intensive ward of the Department of Neurology of Shandong Provincial Hospital, gave an affirmative answer: "Alcohol is a psychoactive substance, and the intake of alcoholic foods and beverages may harm the health of minors." Minors are in the developmental stage, and their organs are more likely to be stimulated by alcohol, resulting in a variety of diseases, such as stimulating the digestive tract, affecting bone growth, and even seriously damaging the nervous system and affecting brain development. ”

In fact, according to the national standard "Terminology and Classification of Alcoholic Beverages" implemented on June 2022, 6, alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of 1.0% vol or more are beverage wines. Alcoholic beverages and liquor shall be made and sold in accordance with alcohol laws and regulations, minors shall not eat it, and merchants shall also apply the prohibition prohibitive provisions prohibiting sales to minors.

A number of legal experts pointed out that the failure of merchants to label alcoholic ice cream with alcohol content violated consumers' right to know. According to the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Consumers, consumers have the right to know the true situation of the purchased goods, and the alcohol content, as the core element of alcoholic beverages, should be known by consumers.

Even non-alcoholic ice cream, such as liquor ice cream or bottle ice cream, is concerned about the poor guidance it will cause for their children.

According to Yao Jinju, professor at the Law School of Beijing University of Foreign Chinese and director of the Sino-foreign Education Law Research Center, regardless of whether the ice cream really contains alcohol, the ice cream in the shape of a wine bottle has the characteristics of wine in appearance, and some products are accompanied by the suggestive slogan of drinking, which will have a bad inducement for minors to be exposed to alcohol early.

"It may be understandable for enterprises to treat bottle ice cream as a commercial innovation, but they should not use minors as an audience in sales and publicity to avoid infringing on the legitimate interests of minors." Yao Jinju said that industry norms should be strengthened, corresponding regulations should be made in the production process of its logo, packaging, etc., and the subsequent sales and publicity links should be strengthened.

Yang Shangdong, associate professor at the School of Administrative Law of Southwest University of Political Science and Law, said that Article 0 of the Law on the Protection of Minors stipulates that business operators shall set up signs in a conspicuous position not to sell tobacco, alcohol or lottery tickets to minors.

"Even if it does not contain alcohol, designing ice cream in the shape of a wine bottle for publicity may arouse minors' interest in alcohol on the one hand, and on the other hand, it may reduce the vigilance of minors and try to drink, which is also suspected of violating the provisions of the Advertising Law that 'advertisements must not harm the physical and mental health of minors'." Yang Shangdong said.

In the view of Li Fei, a partner at Beijing Jingshi Law Firm, ice cream is a favorite delicacy of the majority of minors, and designing ice cream in the shape of a wine bottle and hyping it is equivalent to encouraging minors to have more contact with alcohol in disguise, which is easy to induce minors to try to drink, which is not conducive to the healthy growth of minors, and also violates the principle of the most beneficial to minors in the Law on the Protection of Minors.

Clarify standards and strengthen supervision

Public interest lawsuits can be filed

How to avoid minors from eating alcoholic ice cream and bottle ice cream? A number of interviewed parents pointed out that in addition to parents to "keep an eye on", it is also necessary to strengthen the supervision of production and sales, and prevent and reduce minors' exposure to such goods at the source.

Yang Shangdong believes that for ice cream manufacturers, market supervision departments should regularly carry out education and training on food safety and legal knowledge to guide enterprises to operate in compliance. For multi-level distributors, the market supervision department should focus on supervising wholesalers, minimize the flow of goods that do not comply with the law into the market, and take strong rectification measures for illegal goods.

"In order to avoid the adverse impact of alcoholic ice cream and bottle ice cream on minors, it is recommended that market supervision departments issue relevant specifications on production marks or packaging as soon as possible to promote strict law enforcement, publicize and train producers, and publicize and remind minors' guardians and schools." Yao Jinju said.

She believes that in order to urge producers and sellers to implement their obligations to protect minors, first of all, mandatory regulations should be introduced with clear regulatory measures, and secondly, market supervision departments at all levels should strictly enforce the law through random inspections and inspections. "In the absence of a clear law, in line with the legal principle that is most beneficial to minors, the market supervision department may guide alcoholic ice cream and bottle ice cream manufacturers to increase their attention to the protection of minors through administrative guidance, that is, advice, reminders, suggestions, etc."

For terminal distributors such as commissaries, Yao Jinju said that regulatory obligations should focus more on spot checks on sales in areas where minors are active, such as whether alcoholic ice cream or bottle ice cream is sold or advertised near schools and kindergartens. A reporting hotline may be posted near the school to encourage the public to report the sale of alcohol to minors, and the market supervision department will promptly investigate and deal with it.

Yang Shangdong also believes that for sellers near schools, the regulatory authorities should take additional strengthening measures, regularly supervise and spot check, and if they find that there is a situation that is not conducive to the protection of minors, they should order the merchants to stop selling relevant products, supervise the destruction or make necessary technical treatment according to regulations.

Che Jie, vice president of the Jiangsu Provincial Lawyers Association, believes that behind the new thing involving "wine" ice cream, there is an "old" problem that violates the Law on the Protection of Minors. "The market supervision department should formulate, refine and unify standards for this new phenomenon, and clearly check the production license." In addition, this phenomenon has been suspected of infringing on the legitimate rights and interests of minors, and both the procuratorate and the parents of students have the qualifications to file public interest lawsuits and can file civil public interest lawsuits. ”

"The purpose of enterprises is to cultivate brand loyalty and let young people establish brand awareness, but if alcoholic ice cream and bottle ice cream are allowed to flow into minors, it will cause great harm to the physical and mental health of minors." Lu Lin said he also suggested that the procuratorate use public interest litigation to regulate such commercial behavior, promote industry regulation and strict law enforcement, and build a strong defense line for the protection of minors. (Rule of Law Daily)