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8 Nov, 2006 13:08

Russian State Duma to tackle alcohol problems

Russian State Duma to tackle alcohol problems

Russia's State Duma is seeking to address one of the country's major problems by proposing new laws covering alcohol production. Duma Deputies began the first reading of amendments to the law on Wednesday.

Several initiatives are being considered by the State Duma including the introduction of a state monopoly on alcohol production.

The need for the amendments has become acute, after thousands of Russians were poisoned by low quality alcohol recently.  Lately 300 people have died and 5000 have been left in hospital from alcohol poisoning. This year in Krasnodar region alone 2000 people have died after drinking low quality alcohol.

14 Russian regions have declared a state of emergency which prohibits the sale of any alcohol in chemists. An information campaign about the danger and harm caused by low quality spirits has been launched in several places.

530 criminal cases have also been launched in Russia against illegal manufacturers.

The department of economic security has sent officials to several regions where the production of illegal alcohol is booming.

Doctor Vladislav Zhemchugov from the Institute of Immune Correction, told Russia Today that it is still unclear why people sold dangerous liquids.

“If it is done with the purpose of profit, keeping in mind, that it is not a food alcohol, then it should be treated as excusable homicide. If it is sold in order to damage people’s health, it should be called terrorism. If it is used to deliver harm, it should be terrorism. The statistics include about 30-40 thousands people, dying a year of toxic reasons,” he said.