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Booze-laced cookies hit sour note in Australia

A public outcry over the launch of alcohol-flavored biscuits in Australia prompted the government on Thursday to order a review into whether promoting the liquor-laced nibbles breached advertising rules.
/ Source: Reuters

A public outcry over the launch of alcohol-flavored biscuits in Australia prompted the government on Thursday to order a review into whether promoting the liquor-laced nibbles breached advertising rules.

Biscuit maker Arnott’s release this week of Tia Maria Tim Tams and Kahlua Slices prompted fears that the chocolate-coated biscuits would give children a taste for alcohol.

After a barrage of complaints, the government said it would check guidelines for the promotion and placement of alcohol products. “It is disappointing a product like this appears when the government has done a lot to warn young people about the dangers of alcohol and excessive drinking,” said a spokesman for Parliamentary Health Secretary Trish Worth.

Arnott’s, owned by the Campbell Soup Company, said it would cooperate with the review but would not withdraw the biscuits from sale.

Biscuit-lovers would have to consume their bodyweight in cookies within one hour to reach the blood-alcohol content of 0.05, the legal limit for drinking and driving, as the biscuits contain no more than 0.1 percent alcohol, said company spokeswoman Toni Callaghan.

“But we have no plans to undertake any print or broadcast advertising for either product,” Callaghan told Reuters.

Australia banned an alcoholic milkshake called “Moo Joose” in 2002 due to fears it would encourage under-age drinking.

The milk drink had an alcohol content of 5.3 percent, stronger than most standard Australian beers.