David Mété, an addictologist at war against rum in Reunion

David Mété, addictologist in Reunion, October 18, 2022.

“One island, one rum. Reunion in a bottle ». Using the most symbolic landscapes of Reunion, the advertising campaign launched at the end of August by the Charrette brand, for its 49-degree white rum sold locally between 8 and 10 euros per liter on average, prompted Doctor David Mété to “the open” again. To try to ” make things happen “. ” Enough is enough. It is not possible. We must say stop to these pubs without complexes “reacts again today the head of the addictology service of the Reunion University Hospital and president of the Regional Federation of Addictology of Reunion (FRAR).

Accustomed to denounce “massive advertising that values ​​and normalizes the consumption of alcohol”, as well as the low prices of rum in the department, doctor Mété has been attacking for ten years the manufacturers of Réunion rum and its derivatives (such as punch), those of vodka and pastis made locally, and the importers of alcohol . In 2015, the doctor published a White Paper on alcohol in Reunion, with thirty proposals for “breaking lethargy in the face of this scourge”. Since then, he regularly broadcasts targeted tweets or forums in the local press.

His last public position, on August 17, on the newspaper’s website Clickanootargeted “the appropriation and reduction of the image, the flag or the culture of Reunion by an emblematic brand of alcoholism on the island”, which remains the third region of France most affected by alcohol-related mortality, after Hauts-de-France and Brittany, tied with Normandy, according to the French Observatory of Drugs and Addictive Tendencies. This 53-year-old practitioner also protests against the practices of large retailers in Reunion, which uses alcohol on promotion as “loss leader”. “It’s a hypocrisy that revolts melaunches Doctor Mété, when we know the reality of this product and its omnipresence in the massive consumption of alcohol, which translates into misery and tragedies affecting people who are the weakest socio-economically. »

“I am not opposed to his fight, responds to World Alain Chatel, owner of Charrette rum. But he should stop denigrating and stigmatizing us. Rum is not the only product involved in alcoholism in Reunion. » This boss, at the head of the Chatel distillery, emphasizes that his rum is “80% exported”. “This benefits Reunion’s economy. Nobody can say that it is a shame for Reunion. » “The sector currently supports some 200 direct jobs”communicated at the end of August the Syndicate of rum producers of Reunion.

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