European Brewers Aim to Derail Alcohol Strategy

The European Commission "may be the victim of a carefully planned attack by representatives of the alcohol industry" to derail the adoption of a strategy to reduce the health effects of alcohol, warns Martin McKee, professor of European public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. McKee singles out a report commissioned by The Brewers of Europe and written by The Weinberg Group, a PR firm which was "previously involved in the tobacco industry's campaign to undermine evidence on the harmful effects of passive smoking and those by the chemical industry to challenge evidence on the harmful environmental effects of substances such as Agent Orange." The PR firm's report claims that "there is not enough evidence to substantiate a link between alcohol advertising and consumption" and that "violence is a subjective term which is fairly nebulous and elastic."