AHA comment on twitter content analysis of alcohol industry funded organisations

12 March 2019: Responding to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health’s paper on the ‘Alcohol Industry CSR Organisations‘, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said:

“It is clear from this study of Twitter output that alcohol industry funded organisations do not behave in the same way as independent public health charities and cannot be trusted to provide the public with reliable information on the health risks associated with alcohol. Instead, they steer away from promoting the most evidence-based advice and appear more concerned about protecting the reputation of the alcohol industry. These industry-linked sources of information are less likely to inform the public about the health harms of alcohol such as cancer than independent experts.”

“Another example of the failure of self-regulation is promotion of the Chief Medical Officers’  updated low-risk weekly drinking guidelines for men and women by the drinks industry. It has now been more than three years since they were published and there is still a reluctance from multi-national alcohol producers to inform people of the Government’s official advice, with AHA research showing that fewer than 10% of alcohol products reviewed inform customers of the guidelines.

“The guidelines are in place so people have the information they need to make informed decisions about their drinking. We all have a right to know what we are consuming and the fact that alcohol increases our risk of seven types of cancer, liver disease, heart disease and stroke. Many people are still unaware of these risks and of the CMOs’ advice.

“Industry self-regulation is not working and consumers are being kept in the dark. It is time for the Government to take action to introduce tougher rules that the alcohol industry must adhere to, including health warnings on all alcohol products.”

The full paper can be accessed here.