The RCP this week submitted comments to an EU consultation on Ireland's proposed cancer warning label on alcohol bottles and cans, which highlights the direct link between alcohol and cancer.
This proposed legislation aims to reduce alcohol consumption in Ireland to 9.1 litres per person per annum by 2020, and to reduce the harms associated with alcohol. It would introduce 3 new requirements:
- The inclusion of an additional health warning for alcohol products and in advertisements for alcohol products of the link between alcohol and fatal cancers.
- Minimum proportion of printed material to be given to a health warning.
- The introduction of a broadcast watershed for advertisements for alcohol products.
Commenting on the Irish proposal, RCP registrar and president elect Dr Andrew Goddard, and RCP representative on EU Alcohol Policies Professor Nick Sheron issued a joint statement saying:
The Irish Public Health Alcohol Bill is an outstanding example of public health legislation and is to be applauded. The link between alcohol and cancer is as well proven as the link between tobacco and cancer.
The Irish Public Health Alcohol Bill is an outstanding example of public health legislation and is to be applauded
It is not acceptable that the alcoholic beverage industry is trying to suppress the communication of this vital health information to the public, and is in fact adopting the same tactics as those previously used by the Tobacco industry to suppress information about the links between smoking and lung cancer"
The Royal College of Physicians fully supports the current Irish proposal for alcohol labelling to include information about the risks of cancer to consumers as well as legal restrictions on alcohol marketing and advertising together with the other proposals within the bill, all of which are evidence based.
The RCP comments are available to download. More information about the consultation is available at the European Commission.