Lifestyle Economics

Don’t force alcohol companies to put false information on their products


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IEA reacts to call for mandatory health warnings on alcohol

Commenting on the Royal Society for Public Health’s call for mandatory health warnings on alcohol, Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“Mandatory labelling could help to inform consumers if it is strictly factual. Calorie counts, for example, should be carefully considered after Brexit. But the new drinking guidelines have no scientific credibility and companies should not be forced to put suspect information on their products. 

We now know that the evidence for the guidelines review was rigged by anti-drink campaigners. E-mails released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the methodology was changed at the eleventh hour after initial research offered no support for lowering the guidelines. Until there is a thorough inquiry into what went wrong in this process, the new guidelines should be treated as temperance propaganda.”

Notes to editors: 

For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer: [email protected] or 0207 799 8920 or 07791 290 268.

Writing for Spectator Health, Christopher Snowdon has done extensive research into the guidelines process based on e-mails released under the Freedom of Information Act. Two of his articles can be found here and here.

Further IEA Reading: Alcohol and the Public Purse

This statement is in response to the Royal Society for Public Health’s proposal for “a new labelling scheme to tackle alcohol health awareness vacuum”.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.