Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Alcoholic beverages - a story from Scotland about Scotch

I think this article from the Scottish Sunday Herald, It looks like Scotch ... but don't be fooled, provides a justification for our American regulation of alcoholic beverages:

"BOGUS SCOTCH whisky from China is the subject of the majority of as many as 70 legal actions being pursued by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) in its global battle to protect the integrity of an industry worth £2.47 billion in exports last year."


The discovery and prosecution of bogus whisky generally follows a pattern. Sales representatives for the major whisky companies, scouring shelves all over the world, provide tip-offs about offending products. These are then dispatched to Scotland where the content is analysed. Armed with chemical proof, the lawyers then go to work.


Barclay's legal team has a formidable arsenal of existing law at its disposal, including Scotland's own definition of what exactly constitutes Scotch whisky, as well as supporting EU legislation on spirits law and the "geographical indication" rules enshrined in the principles of the World Trade Organisation.

The team's hand will be strengthened still further in early 2008 when, after a four-year campaign led by the industry, the British government passes an all-embracing law tightly defining labelling, geographical provenance and the producing distillery.

Which leads me to believe that the Scottish/British laws must differ some from our American laws on labeling and definitions of what constitutes a certain type of alcoholic beverage.