The UK's Chief Medical Officers (CMO) on Friday (8 January) changed the guidelines for alcohol consumption, advising now both men and women not to drink more than 14 units per week, or three units on one occasion, in order to limit alcohol harm.
Alcohol policies and the 'health in all policies' approach will not suffer from the European Commission's new internal structure - which has already seen many health policies delayed or scrapped, a spokesperson said on Tuesday (17 November).
While the European Commission is still debating the added value the EU can bring to tackle alcohol-related harm, The Brewers of Europe remain committed to working together with governments and civil society in promoting responsible beer consumption, writes Pierre-Olivier Bergeron.
Twenty public health organisations have resigned from the European Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF), a stakeholder platform, to protest against the European Commission's refusal to submit a new alcohol strategy.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU's Health and Food Safety Commissioner, said that the executive has no intention of submitting a new strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm in Europe, suggesting that the issue will be tackled as part of a broad range of "risk factors" affecting chronic diseases.
EXCLUSIVE / The European Parliament's legislative vacuum is frustrating both national and European politicians. While MEPs are forced to vote on hollow resolutions, France has lodged a complaint with the President Martin Schulz. EURACTIV France reports.
SPECIAL REPORT / Members of the European Parliament, backed by health NGOs and the alcohol industry, are asking the European Commission to propose a new alcohol strategy, saying it should depart from the current one.
SPECIAL REPORT / New EU rules on nutrition labelling for food and drinks entered into force a few months ago. But whether or not alcoholic beverages will also have to carry them in the future is still unclear. A Commission report on the issue, due in December last year, is yet to be published.
While the EU must act to combat alcohol-related harm, any new initiative by the European Commission should focus on measures within its powers, such as taxation and labelling, the UK's House of Lords has said in a report published Friday (6 March).
Health advocates, including doctors and nurses from Scotland and across Europe, find common cause with Scottish alcohol industry representatives in supporting the Scottish Government's efforts to implement its Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) legislation. They call for global alcohol producers to drop their legal challenges to this policy that will save hundreds of lives of people in Scotland every year.
?The European Commission has not given a satisfactory reason for why the review of the Alcohol Strategy wasn't published last year, as promised, says MEP Glenis Willmott. She would like the next version to look into minimum pricing, include more research and health recommendations.
Though the Scottish government initiative to put a minimum unit pricing (MUP) on alcohol has been referred to the European Court of Justice, some members of Scotland's alcohol industry are backing the initiative to tackle alcohol harm in the country.
Instead of addressing the harm alcohol inflicts to public health, social fabric, economic productivity and even democracy abroad, EU Commissioner Karel De Gucht chooses to praise its trade benefits, writes Sven-Olov Carlsson.
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