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Portman Group rule alcohol can still be sold in test-tubes

Published:  11 May, 2010

Four brands that sell alcohol in test-tubes will not be removed from sale after an inquiry ruled it was not causing harmful drinking.

Alcohol Focus Scotland brought complaints against: Quivers; Shot in a Tube; Shoeyz Shots and Shootaz, all of which contain 20ml of liquid and less than 0.3 units of alcohol.

The inquiry under the Portman Group Code which prevents drinks companies from urging consumers to drink rapidly or 'down-in-one' looked into whether its packaging causes people to drink rapidly.

Research found that although most consumers drink test-tubes 'down-in-one', this tended to be because of the small volume of liquid in the test-tube rather than because of the packaging.

David Poley, Portman Group chief executive, said: "The Independent Complaints Panel was persuaded that this style of packaging was not causing harmful drinking. You could have ten of these test-tube drinks and still be within the Government's recommended drinking levels. Research also showed it was the small volume of liquid rather than the test-tube packaging that caused consumers to drink the contents 'down-in-one'."

While the Independent Complaints Panel dismissed the complaints against the four brands, it did find Shootaz in breach of code for the energy flavour description on one of its test-tubes as it implied that the product could enhance mental or physical performance .