“Big Alcohol” Deserves More Scrutiny
We hear a lot about “Big Tobacco” and “Big Pharma,” but we don’t hear much about “Big Alcohol.” Well, one leading publication says we should.
The journal PLoS Medicine said alcohol causes just as many problems as smoking and prescription drugs, and the industry should face similar scrutiny.
The editorial says statistics about drinking are troubling enough, but what is even more disturbing is the influence of the alcohol industry on health research and government policy, according to a report in Science Daily.
PLoS Medicine writes:
If this questionable behavior is reminiscent of the strategies developed by the pharmaceutical, tobacco, and other industries to further their agendas, it should be a wake-up call to us all.
The alcohol industry is accused of such activities as promoting the health benefits of alcohol while downplaying harms, deflecting attention away from bad scientific data that contradict industry exaggerations of benefit and coming up with ways to advertise to young people.
Whether the solutions are stricter regulation over advertising and promotion, banning sports sponsorships, setting minimum pricing, restricting access, introducing mandatory safety labeling, or holding the industry to account for the harms associated with their products, there is a need now to target more attention to and research on the alcohol industry that can support and fuel legislative, regulatory, and community action to protect the public health.