Tuesday, May 22, 2018

"Nein" to Wholesome Beer

Photo: Felix Kastle

In a May 17, 2018 ruling, the German Federal Court of Justice had banned the use of the term “bekömmlich” (a word that carries connotations of health and tastiness) by a brewery based in the southern German town of Leutkirch. 

Clemens Härle Brewery, which has used the term in their advertising since 1900, took the matter to Germany’s highest court after being challenged in a series of legal battles by the Association of Social-Minded Competition (VSW) – the latter claiming that it was a misleading description. 

The label “bekömmlich” does not have a direct English translation – but it means something akin to “wholesome”. 

And the word is generally understood by the public to mean ‘healthy’, ‘beneficial’, and ‘digestible’”, the court said. 

Owner of the brewery, Gottfried Härle argued: “My great-grandfather described his beer as wholesome. Enjoying beer in moderation is absolutely wholesome”. 

However, the court disagreed, upholding a previous ruling that found that the word implied the beer had health benefits, which contravenes EU guidelines on alcohol advertising. 

This was not the first time that a court has outlawed the use of the word on alcohol labelling. 

In 2012 the EU Court of Justice barred German wine cooperative Deutsches Weintor, based in Rheinland-Pfalz, from using the term on its ‘Mild’ range. 

Responding to the ruling at the time, Jürgen Grallath of Weintor said: “We regret the decision of the European Court. In our view, the term ‘wholesome’ is not a health claim, but merely a description of well-being associated with wine enjoyment”. 

I agree!

Image credit: FMT, May 21, 2018

Women’s rights groups and their friends staged a peaceful protest at Istana Negara yesterday, demanding for fairer representation of the fairer sex in the highest policy-making body in Malaysia. 

The assembly of twenty-plus people which was organized by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG), called on Pakatan Harapan to fulfil their election pledge to have a Cabinet with women taking up a minimum 30% in numbers. 

Empower (Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor) executive director Angela M. Kuga Thas said 30% is needed because women have very different experiences and perspectives of what development solutions require. 

After all, it is women who pushed for child-friendly policies, the Domestic Violence Act 1994, and the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017. 

“We need women to be at the decision-making table to bring the different perspectives of their lived realities”, she said. 

According to Angela, this was also promised in 1998 by the then Barisan Nasional government. At the time, Zaleha Ismail said Malaysia would have a minimum of 30% women in Cabinet and in all decision-making levels in Government within seven years. 

Two decades on, this has yet to become a reality. 

Women's Aid Organisation acting director Ren Chung Yu congratulated PH for putting three women in the Cabinet already, but for the next 10 to 15 appointments still to be made – the Government must fulfil their promise to the rakyat to include 30% of the women as policy-makers. 

There are already plenty of experienced women MPs to pick from. These include Nurul Izzah Anwar (PKR-Permatang Pauh), Hannah Yeoh (DAP-Segambut), Kasthuri Patto (DAP-Batu Kawan), Maria Chin Abdullah (PKR-Petaling Jaya), Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh), Fuziah Salleh (PKR-Kuantan), Teo Nie Ching (DAP-Kulai), Alice Lau (DAP-Lanang), Yeo Bee Yin (DAP-Bakri) and Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Warisan-Kota Belud).

I support more women in the Cabinet – but be patient lah!

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