Alcohol firms ‘are misleading the public over cancer risks’

Many websites misreported the facts and fudged the verification about alcohol related cancer risk with breast and colorectal cancers being the most common focus of misrepresentation.

However, representatives of the alcohol industry claimed the research was ‘misleading’ and said they were already advising consumers to drink responsibly.

But research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden has revealed the extent to which the alcohol industry is denying this evidence. Other perspective propounds contradicting that any relationship occurs or professing there is no risk for light or moderate drinking as well as debating a broad range of real and possible risk aspect.

Mark Petticrew, Professor of Public Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and lead author of the study explained that the science behind the risk is clear.

“Public awareness of this risk is low, and it has been argued that greater public awareness, particularly of the risk of breast cancer, poses a significant threat to the alcohol industry”.

About 1330 bowel cancers and 830 breast cancers are attributed to alcohol each year in Australia, while it has been estimated that about 3 per cent of cancers can be blamed on alcohol consumption each year.

Chief executive of the Institute of Alcohol Studies, Katherine Brown said, “It’s extremely worrying that the United Kingdom public is not being given independent, honest information about the health risks associated with drinking”.

Our analysis suggests that the major global alcohol producers may attempt to mitigate this by disseminating misleading information about cancer through their “responsible drinking” bodies’.

Drinking increases the risk of a wide range of health conditions including high blood pressure, some cancers and depression.

We know the tobacco industry attempted to confuse the relationship between lung cancer and smoking and put out a lot of very distracting information.

The alcohol industry denied the report’s findings.

CEO, Richard Piper, added: “We agree that all stakeholders, including the drinks industry, have a responsibility to promote factual public knowledge”. The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, which represents large brewers and distillers including Anheuser-Busch InBev and Diageo, said it disagreed with the study’s conclusions.

Chris Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: This is a diatribe disguised as a study that seeks to create a false narrative in which businesses always lie and anti-alcohol campaigners always tell the truth. It will provide information “so that policymakers, health practitioners and the general public can make evidence-based decisions about alcohol”.

It’s not cancer, so I’m not convinced that actually people understood fully what the risks associated with drinking are in terms of cancer when it doesn’t have an effect on people’s consumption of it at all.

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