Alcohol Action Ireland Says Drinks Industry Must Accept Alcohol Bill

By Dave Simpson
Alcohol Action Ireland Says Drinks Industry Must Accept Alcohol Bill

Campaign group Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI) has accused the alcohol industry of fuelling doubt over the effectiveness of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill by seeking to "confuse, delay and obfuscate" over a number of years.

According to thetimes.co.uk, AAI believes that the formulation of public health policy should not be influenced by lobbying groups or business representatives. Furthermore, AAI asserted that such organisations need to accept that less alcohol should be sold in Ireland and that the change will impact the profits of drinks companies.

In a statement, AAI said, "Since 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, of the World Health Organisation, has classified alcohol as a group one carcinogen, yet the alcohol industry continue to express doubt, questioning the irrefutable evidence.

"At a time when detractors of scientifically researched facts possess their own alternative facts, is the honorable community of Irish business to be so at odds with public good? Or will they finally recognise that less alcohol must mean less revenues?

"Health labelling on all alcohol products will ensure citizens and consumers alike will, in the future, be informed and warned about what they consume. Most importantly, alcohol products will highlight the direct link between alcohol and fatal cancers."

Conversely, the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland has claimed that the proposed health warning labels are in error because consuming alcohol in small quantities does not adversely affect health. Business representative body Ibec has accused health minister Simon Harris of refusing to meet to discuss the bill and appealed to him to liaise with the ABFI on the matter.