Blog: Season of goodwill? Not if you're the UK health lobby

James Wilmore | 15 December 2014

The UK health lobby is always very vocal on alcohol at this time of year, predictably so, and this year is no different. 

But drinks firms will be particularly disappointed at one of Alcohol Concern's latest missives, which carries the headline: "Alcohol industry 'can’t be trusted' to promote moderate drinking". The charity's press release points to three examples - involving Diageo, Carlsberg and SABMiller - where they accuse the companies of going against their stated objective of promoting moderate consumption. You can get all the details here.

“Given the obvious conflict between the alcohol industry’s need to sell more alcohol and the need to promote moderate drinking, alcohol producers should have no role in drawing up information or policy on safe drinking,” says Alcohol Concern's director, Andrew Misell. Of course, this is a thinly-veiled reference to the government's Public Health Responsibility Deal, which large sections of the health lobby are not happy with. 

It appears that the plea of Heineken's CEO, Jean-François van Boxmeer, for the health lobby to drop their mistrust of the industy has fallen on deaf ears. And the amount the accused companies invest in groups like Drinkaware and the Portman Group seems to have escaped Alcohol Concern's notice. 

In the battle that rages between the UK health lobby and drinks industry, perhaps inevitably, the season of goodwill to all men concept is being ignored. 

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