The Alcohol Policy Network recently published their position paper on ‘Guidance on the Alcohol Industry and Alcohol Policy’. May 2018

 

INTRODUCTION
The Alcohol Policy Network (APN) is a group of persons working in governmental and in non-governmental organizations with an interest in developing and promoting alcohol policies and strategies that serve public health and social welfare. APN concerns about the role of the alcohol industry in alcohol policy led to a number of principles on the subject being agreed upon at a meeting of the network in Ljubljana in 2016. These principles were then laid down in a text, which is available at the website of APN (www.alcoholpolicynetwork.eu). The current paper builds on these principles in outlining the essential information an d arguments for APN’s guidance.
 
BACKGROUND
The WHO Global Burden of Disease Studies carried out over the last 25 years have shown very significant and growing public health problems associated with alcohol consumption across the world. Evidence also points to the fact that a variety of policies and strategies can effectively reduce the harm associated with alcohol consumption. While there are some strategies which can reduce alcohol related harm without influencing the amount of alcohol consumed, generally speaking, the less alcohol is drunk in a population the less harm will occur. For public health advocates, therefore, when it comes to alcohol less is better. The alcohol industry, with a “bottom line” interest in advancing its commercial interests has an opposite overall goal. For them more is better. To this end they want to be involved in alcohol policy making; and, in fact in many countries and in international agencies the industry currently does play an active role in the policy making process. By ‘the industry’ we refer here primarily to economic operators who have commercial interests in the supply chain from production to sale of alcohol. There are also related corporate sectors such as advertising, media, hospitality and retail who share commercial interests with the actors in the supply chain. Our definition of the alcohol industry further includes trade associations, social aspects organisations, and other actors who seek to further the economic objectives of individual companies
or the commercial interests of the industry as a whole. Concerned about the continuing influence of the alcohol industry on public health policy, APN identifies the following guiding principles for policy maker consideration.
 
The complete text is available on the APN website: alcoholpolicynetwork.eu

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