US: Boycott call for Scotch whisky
An internet campaign to boycott Scotch whisky and other Scottish products has begun in the US, in anger at the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.
Activists have set up a website, boycottscotland.com, calling on Americans to avoid travel to Scotland and refrain from buying Scottish and UK products.
Listing suggestions on products to boycott, the site says: "Many have advocated avoiding Scotch whisky and opting for American, Canadian, or Irish whiskies."
The campaign follows the Scottish Government's decision to release Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer, on compassionate grounds. The US Government has openly criticised the release of the Libyan, who was serving a life sentence for murdering 270 people by blowing up the Pan Am 103 Flight over Scotland in 1988.
A boycott on Scottish products could spell trouble for Scotch distillers, who count the US as their largest export market.
Recession in the US saw Scotch exports to the country fall 11% in 2008 to GBP371m (US$612m), according to figures from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
"The US is a big market so we have to take this seriously," an SWA spokesperson told just-drinks today (24 August). "We're aware of a limited amount of activity on the internet, but nothing more significant at present."
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