Halle-bloody-lujah!! An article that is music to my ears but I must reign in my enthusiasm to wait to see if the words are followed by actions. Too often this govt say all the right things and then it gets kicked into the long grass at a later date once, what I can only imagine as happening is, the industry leans on them to withdraw or water down the measures.
Health warnings should be compulsory on bottles of wine, beer and spirits to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and the growing problem of liver disease, a group of MPs has said.
The recommendation is part of a series of measures put forward by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse to tackle what it says is an epidemic of alcohol abuse in Britain.
Conservative MP Tracey Crouch, the chair of the group, said people should be as aware of the dangers posed by excessive drinking as they are of the risks associated with smoking. “The facts and figures of the scale of alcohol misuse in the UK speak for themselves: 1.2 million people a year are admitted to hospital due to alcohol; liver disease in those under 30 has more than doubled over the past 10 years; and the cost of alcohol to the economy totals £21bn. Getting political parties to seriously commit to these 10 measures will be a massive step in tackling the huge public health issue that alcohol is.”
The report, which also recommends a minimum unit price on alcohol, states that although health warnings are prominent on tobacco products, alcohol packaging only outlines alcohol content. “In order to inform consumers about balanced risk, every alcohol label should include an evidence-based health warning as well as describing the product’s nutritional calorific and alcohol content,” it states.
Labour peer Clive Brooke, vice-chairman of the group, said that after smoking “alcohol is the second biggest preventable killer” in Britain and it was time politicians stood up to the powerful drinks industry.
“Not only does it cost lives but it burdens the NHS and the criminal and justice systems and others with ever increasing costs. All the political parties know that but they run for cover when they are confronted by the drinks industry and its immensely powerful lobby. These proposals give them another chance to consider whether they really have the guts to take a different line for the country’s wellbeing in the future.”
40 days to go
Edited to add: I awoke to the news of Robin Williams death. I have no words to express how profoundly sad this makes me feel. Russell Brand wrote a beautiful eulogy about him here. Carpe diem. RIP Robin.