May 19: Although The European Union’s highest court ruled in 2012 that the word ‘Bekoemmlich’ carrying connotations of health as well as tastiness could not be used to describe wine on the label, beer industry has been apparently still using it but a German top court has ruled against it after a consumer rights group sued a brewery on the basis that its advertising falsely suggested health benefits
The problem with the Haerle Brewery in the southern German town of Leutkirch began when a Berlin consumer protection group protested at use of the German word “Bekoemmlich” which has no direct equivalent in English but carries connotations of health as well as of tastiness. The German Federal Court of Justice upheld a lower court finding that the word could not be used in advertisement for any alcoholic beverages containing more than 1.2 % alcohol. Perhaps alcohol-free beer and wine generally with less than 0.5% alcohol could thus still qualify under this category.
“The term ‘Bekoemmlich’ is understood by the relevant public to mean ‘healthy’, ‘beneficial’ and ‘digestible’,” the court said. When used to describe food it means that the product is easily absorbed and tolerated by the digestive system even alongside long-term consumption, the court said, adding that beer sometimes did cause health problems.
Once the world’s largest beer consumer and famed for its annual Oktoberfest beer festival, Germany’s consumption has dropped 17% since 1993, according to the Report by Reuter
In India, it is the other extreme-not only are the wineries not allowed to mention any health benefits but must mention that consuming alcohol is harmful for health. Drinking wine in moderation is also not insisted upon-that could be a good example to encourage people to limit their drinking. Of course, legal or not, wine is Bekoemmlich when consumed in moderation-up to 2 glasses a day for men and one glass a day for women-editor
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