Earlier this month a group of concerned public health professionals, health scientists and NGO representatives have submitted a Public Statement of Concern to the World Health Organization Secreatariat. The Statement is a response to global alcohol producers who have recently issued a set of commitments to reduce the harmful use of alcohol worldwide, ostensibly in support of the World Health Organization’s 2010 Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol.

Part of the summary of the Statement of Concern can be read below:

“On October 8, 2012, thirteen of world’s largest alcohol producers issued a set of commitments to reduce the harmful use of alcohol worldwide, ostensibly in support of the World Health Organization’s 2010 Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol. As an independent coalition of public health professionals, health scientists and NGO representatives, we are submitting this public Statement of Concern to the WHO Secretariat in response to the activities of the global alcohol producers. Based on their lack of support for effective alcohol policies, misinterpretation of the Global Strategy’s provisions, and their lobbying against effective public health measures, we believe that the alcohol industry’s inappropriate commitments must be met with a united response from global health community.”

“Our reservations can be summarised as follows:
1) The commitments are based on questionable assumptions, as stated in the signatories’ Preamble.
2) The actions proposed in the five commitments are weak, rarely evidence-based and are unlikely to reduce harmful alcohol use.
3) Prior initiatives advanced by the alcohol industry as contributions to the WHO Global Strategy have major limitations from a public health perspective.
4) The signatories are misrepresenting their roles with respect to the implementation of the WHO Global Strategy.”

Currently, the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GABA) is asking qualified professionals throughout the world to review the Statement of Concern, and indicate their endorsement by sending an email to the office of the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) at gapa@ias.org.uk giving the following details: (1) Full name (2) Professional title (3) Institution affiliation (4) Country.

In providing these details you will be agreeing to have your name listed (but not your email address) on both the public letter to WHO and the GAPA website that will post the letter.

The full Statement of Concern can be read on the GABA website

EUCAM formally endorses this Statement of Concern.

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