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Home > [Joint Statement] Tackling alcohol related harm requires better actions.

[EPHA] [Joint Statement] Tackling alcohol related harm requires better actions. (21 Mar 2014)

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Why the public health community is disappointed with the European Parliament resolution on EU Alcohol Strategy.

On the 10th March Members of the Environment Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee in the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution calling on the European Commission to develop a new EU Alcohol Strategy. The resolution is scheduled for vote in the April EP Plenary.
The public health community is delighted that the European Parliament acknowledges the urgent need to tackle alcohol related harm, however it is disappointed with the text of the resolution it is planning to adopt.
Europe is the heaviest drinking region in the world – Europeans drink more than twice as any other region. Alcohol contributes towards 4% of the world’s disability adjusted life years, or years lost due to alcohol-related injury or death. This is approximately the same proportion as tobacco (1). Alcohol is a risk factor in some 60 diseases such as cancer, liver cirrhosis, and cardiovascular diseases among many others and is often found to be a risk factor in co-morbidities (2). Furthermore the social cost of alcohol in the EU is calculated to be around 155.8 billion EUR on a yearly basis (3).
In order to effectively target alcohol related harm, the EU should build on the knowledge of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Best Buys- a recognised set of well established, effective and cost effective public health interventions for alcohol policy. The WHO recommends actions in the areas of price, marketing and availability. Regrettably, the current text of the resolution does not include actions in these areas.
What is even more disappointing is that the EP ENVI committee has failed to acknowledge the right of consumers to know what is in their drinks. All the amendments regarding alcoholic beverages labelling have been rejected: this will continue a paradoxical situation in the EU, where consumers can tell what is in their bottle of milk but not in alcoholic cocktail, wine or beer.........

[To read the full statement by the European Public Health Alliance, click on the link above].

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