As part of the British Health Secretary’s controversial responsibility deal, drinks producer Diageo has pledged more than £4m to a training programme run by the National Organisation on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. The multinational brewer behind Guinness will lend its name to the education of 10,000 midwives and 1.3 million pregnant women over the next three years. Critiques on this initiative are mounting, calling the development a smoke screen for a promotional exercise.

The Independent quoted several critics. Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: “It is deeply worrying that alcohol education is being paid for by the drinks industry, as it is then unaccountable and not necessarily based on evidence or public health guidance.”

John Healey, Labour’s health spokesperson, said: “Industry-sponsored initiatives should not be an excuse for stealth cuts to funding for public health campaigns.”

Professor Ian Gillmore of the Royal College of Physicians added: “To really make a difference, education and information must be backed-up by tougher action on the price, availability and marketing of alcohol.”

This kind of cooperation between alcohol producers and governments is a clear practice of social corporate responsibility. For more information on social corporate responsibility, see the [link=]EUCAM trend report on social corporate responsibility[/link].

Source: The independent 06/12/11

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