- The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm
- Scotlands new drug and alcohol strategy launched
- AFS welcome new alcohol strategy
- Recent reporting on alcohol sales data
- Cross-Party Group Improving Scotland's health: 2021 and beyond October 2018
- Diageo is failing to provide latest guidelines on their products
- Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking
- Reducing alcohol consumption can address health inequalities
- Alcohol-specific deaths remain at very high levels
- Oh Lila goes digital
- Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives
- AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol
- Walker's crisp ad exposes children to alcohol marketing
- Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed
- Focus on link between alcohol and obesity
- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
- Last Christmas for heavily discounted alcohol
- Scotland's licensing system needs clearer direction
- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Reflections on GAPC 2017
- Alcohol brands and young people
- Time for honest conversations about alcohol
- Q&A on alcohol marketing
- UK children anxious about parents' drinking
- Quarter of Scots drink above guidelines
- Alcohol producers failing to inform public
- Concern over alcohol-related deaths
- We need to make it easier for people to drink less
- Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths
- Minimum pricing will save lives
- Pocket money prices for alcohol continue
- Scotland's alcohol problem laid bare
- Cheap alcohol is costing Scotland dear
- One drink a day can increase breast cancer risk
- Poverty linked to increased harm from alcohol
- What next for reducing alcohol harm in Scotland?
- Scotland must do more to turn tide of alcohol harm
- Concern as funding for alcohol services cut
- Budget: No change in alcohol duty
- Scottish Government urged to curb alcohol marketing
- Consumers have the right to know health risks
- Chancellor urged to tackle cheap, strong cider in Budget
- Online help for families affected by alcohol
- Alcohol-free childhood is healthiest option
- SWA granted leave to appeal minimum pricing
- Drink drive warning
- Scottish Greens call for action on alcohol marketing
- Scottish Government receives European alcohol award
- SWA will appeal to UK Supreme Court
- Half of alcohol being sold under 50p per unit
- SWA urged to respect minimum pricing decision
- Alcohol and mental health are closely linked
- Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland
- Alcohol sold at pocket money prices
- Scotland has so much to gain from reducing how much we drink
- AFS welcomes revised alcohol consumption guidelines
- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
- Every child has the right to grow up safe from alcohol harm
- Public health must prevail over big business
- New toolkit to help children affected by family alcohol problems
- Price check reveals cheap cost of strong alcohol
- Sales increase underlines need for minimum pricing
- Time to kick alcohol out of sport
- Alcohol linked with stomach cancer
- AFS calls for compulsory health warnings on alcoholic drinks
- Are supermarkets 'responsible retailers' when it comes to alcohol?
- Scottish health charities call for excise duty rise to tackle cheap alcohol
- Alcohol campaigners unite to call for stronger protection from alcohol advertising to children
- New resource for people concerned about alcohol in their community
- Minimum pricing decision delayed until summer
- No completely 'safe' level of drinking
- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- Alcohol fuels ambulance assaults
- 82% of Scots agree drink driving is unacceptable
- Scotland's alcohol strategy - what next?
- Scotland leads way in evidence-based alcohol policy
- New report reveals impact of alcohol on emergency services
- Alcohol: a global concern
Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking
Multi-national alcohol companies are choosing to ignore advice from the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) to display important health information on their products, a new study has found.
The result is that drinkers in Scotland are being kept in the dark about how to minimise their risks from a range of medical conditions, including seven different types of cancer.
The research, published today by the Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA), showed that fewer than 10% of the 320 alcohol products surveyed carry the current low-risk weekly drinking guideline of 14 units a week.
More than two and a half years after the current alcohol guidelines came into effect, most of the 320 products reviewed referred to out-of-date guidelines and carried no health warnings of specific illnesses or diseases. Among the products to carry old information were new drinks, launched after the publication of the current guidelines.
None of the 24 products containing the current guidelines belonged to the global multi-national drinks companies.
The study shows how little progress has been made over the last year since a similar AHA review found only one product contained the correct weekly guideline.
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood urged the alcohol industry to communicate the CMOs’ health advice on product labels as a priority.
Dr Calderwood said:
“People should be supported to make informed choices about their drinking and have a right to know about the harms associated with alcohol such as liver disease, heart disease and cancer. Providing information on labels is a crucial and effective way to give people health information and advice that informs their choices. Some businesses are taking a responsible approach; for example C & C Group, the company that produces Tennent’s. Others now need to follow their lead.”
Dr Calderwood said she will write to the Portman Group on behalf of the CMOs to raise the issue.
Yesterday Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland and a member of the Alcohol Health Alliance, attended the Diageo AGM to raise the issue directly with senior management and shareholders.
Ms Douglas said “It is notable that the global multi-national producers do not seem to have made any effort to update their labelling to communicate the current low-risk drinking guidelines, while some smaller independent producers have done so. The Alcohol Health Alliance surveyed more than 100 Diageo products and not one of them included the current guidelines of 14 units a week.
“Referring people to industry-funded websites is not good enough. We need reliable health information directly on bottles, cans and menus, where it can usefully inform our decisions. At the moment more information is required on a pint of milk than on a bottle of wine. The public deserves better and industry clearly won’t do this voluntarily; it’s time for government to act.”
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, liver doctor and chair of the AHA, said: “Once again we see that the alcohol industry cannot be trusted to provide the public with health information. The current system of self-regulation has clearly failed. The industry-funded Portman Group, which advises alcohol producers on labelling, no longer recommends its members include the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines on labels.
“We all have the right to know what we are drinking and the fact that alcohol increases our risk of seven types of cancer, liver disease, heart disease and stroke. Few of us know and understand these risks or are aware of the CMOs’ advice. Alcohol companies should be required to display this information along with prominent health warnings, information on ingredients, nutrition and calories on alcohol labels. It’s clear that without government requiring alcohol producers to provide this information, consumers will continue to be kept in the dark.”
Royal College of Public Health label mock ups with current CMO guidelines.