Alcohol industry and related vested interest

Global alcohol producers and their global brands of beer, spirits and wine are expanding to every corner of the world, searching for growth in emerging markets that are key to maximizing future profits. The enormous market power exercised by those global companies easily translates into political power on the state and global levels.  That power may be a formidable force impeding progress in the fight to reduce and prevent NCD.  As WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan said at the Health for All Conference in Helsinki in 2013, “Efforts to prevent non-communicable diseases go against the business interests of powerful economic operators. In my view, this is one of the biggest challenges facing health promotion.”

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Alcohol companies direct their ads toward young women

If you are in doubt about the alcohol industry’s intention to make young, modern women alcohol consumers, this video clip with Dr. David H. Jernigan may be of interest. Through selected alcohol ads Dr. Jernigan shows how the industry use catchwords as organic, low-carb, natural and diet to attract female drinkers.

22. October 2013
Dr Chan Helsinki June 2013

WHO Director General Dr. Chan warns again against vested interests

“Efforts to prevent non-communicable diseases go against the business interests of powerful economic operators. In my view, this is one of the biggest challenges facing health promotion”, said Dr. Margaret Chan in her opening address to the Health for All conference in Helsinki.

14. June 2013

World Health Organization to tackle non-communicable disease

The 66th World Health Assembly opened in Geneva today. One of the main issues is how the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) will be handled in the future. Referring to the difference between malaria and NCDs the Director General of WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, in her opening speech stated that “Mosquitoes do not have front groups, and mosquitoes do not have lobbies.”

20. May 2013
Dr. Chan, WHO

Dr. Chan will protect alcohol policy from industry

WHO Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan, will protect alcohol policy making from commercial or vested interests of the alcohol industry. She welcomes an initiative by researchers and civil society organizations that keep careful watch over the behaviour of the alcohol industry.

15. April 2013
WHO Statement of Concern

Global public health community issues warning over alcohol industry conflict of interest

More than 500 public health professionals, health scientists and NGO representatives from 60 countries have signed a joint Statement of Concern about the activities of the global alcohol producers.

05. April 2013
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South Africa: Conflict over ban on alcohol advertising

A fierce discussion on possible restrictions on alcohol advertising is currently going on in South Africa. The 53rd ANC National Conference re-confirmed the ANC’s intention to introduce a ban on alcohol adverts.

25. February 2013

WHO Bulletin on Global Fund conflict of interest

An article in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization raises concerns regarding conflict of interest in a partnership where SABMiller, the world’s second largest brewer by sales volume, receive funding from the Global Fund for a HIV/AIDS prevention project in drinking establishements in South Africa. "No conflict of interest" replies the Global Fund.

05. January 2012

Questionable tactics in marketing

Alcohol producers are using questionable tactics to market their beer and liqour brands in the developing world. This is one of the conclusions in a study covering selected advertisements from seven countries.

09. December 2011
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PLoS Medicine Editorial:

Questions alcohol industry

A recent editorial in the peer-reviewed open access journal PLoS Medicine asks why medical journals and public health advocates who are concerned with corporate conflicts of interest, inappropriate marketing to children, impotent self-regulation, and general flouting of the rules are ignoring the alcohol industry.

06. June 2011

Say South African health experts:

Global Fund SAB tie is extremely problematic

South African Breweries and the Global Fund has formalised a partnership to fight against HIV and AIDS. "This arrangement is extremely problematic and is in our view, completely unacceptable" say health experts pointing to conflict of interest, lack of evidence base and questionable quality of programme.

21. March 2011