Melbourne, June 3 : Makers and importers of distilled spirits have claimed that alcopops don't encourage binge drinking.
The manufacturers of ready-to-drink (RTDs) beverages, commonly known as alcopops, are using a federal health agency report to appeal to the government to scrap a tax hike on these drinks.
The government is planning a 70 per cent tax increase on RTDs in a bid to reduce binge drinking among young people, especially women.
However, the report by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) submitted to senate committee inquiry shows no link between RTDs and binge-drinking.
"The increased availability of RTDs does not appear to have directly contributed to an increase in risky alcohol consumption," the institute's submission said.
Meanwhile, the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia said the finding validated industry concerns over the tax hike.
"The AIHW should be accepted as the independent umpire in the debate over RTDs and problem drinking," News.com.au quoted council spokesman Stephen Riden, as saying.
"Its view is conclusive, there is no link between pre-mixed alcohol products and an increase in binge-drinking.
"The Government needs to accept there are no public health grounds or evidence to support the RTD tax hike," he added.
The institute's report also found there had been no change in the pattern of risky drinking among young people since 2001.
It also reported the slight increase in RTD consumption since 2001 was mainly attributed to older people.