Fears of Tainted Alcohol at Mexican Resorts Underscore Need for Effective Alcohol Regulation

Recent news reports indicate that several tourists and families travelling to all-inclusive resorts in Mexico suspect they were given tainted alcohol, which in some cases resulted in death. The reports underscore a stark contrast between alcohol regulation in Mexico and the United States, where state-based alcohol regulation and a three-tiered system of distribution provides a clear chain of custody and guards against tainted alcohol products reaching consumers.

A report by former Chief Counsel for the United States Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau Robert M. Tobiassen, “The ‘Fake Alcohol’ Situation in the United States: The Impact of Culture, Market Economics, and the Current Regulatory Systems,” explains why there are few incidents of fake alcohol products in the United States. The study describes “strong regulatory systems that police the production, importation, distribution and retail sales of alcohol beverages through independent parties” and the country’s “competitive marketplace that provides alcohol beverages at all price points.”

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Center for Alcohol Policy
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