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Jan 31, 2008

Kids being sold alcoholic ‘soft drinks’


PENANG: Alcoholic “soft drinks,” some with alcohol content as high as 5%, are being sold to children in supermarkets and bakeries.

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) said that the alcohol content in these drinks was higher than that in beer.

CAP president S.M. Mohamed Idris said the law prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages to people below the age of 18.

He said CAP had received complaints from parents who said their children were consuming these drinks, adding that these drinks had also become popular among partygoers.

He said CAP had first exposed the hazards of a certain trendy intoxicating beverage in August 1997.

“Now after 11 years, the same type of drinks, designed and packaged like soft drinks, are once again invading the Malaysian market,” he said in a statement Thursday.

A CAP survey showed that members of the public might consume the beverage without knowing that they contained a high level of alcohol due to misleading labels with names like tropical fruit, ice lemon tea and orange juice, and with pictures of fruits.

He claimed that the alcohol content was printed in small letters that could hardly be seen.

Mohamed Idris urged the authorities to impose an immediate ban on the sale of such drinks.


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