Global action to protect public health activities from the alcohol industry

The NAAA encourages individuals and organisations to endorse a united response from the global health community regarding concerns about the role of the alcohol industry in the implementation of the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol.

On 8 October 2012, thirteen of world’s largest alcohol producers issued a set of commitments to reduce the harmful use of alcohol worldwide. The commitments were issued in support of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol. However, in a public letter to the WHO Director General, an independent coalition of public health professionals, health scientists and NGO representatives have expressed major reservations about these commitments made by alcohol producers, including:

  • The commitments are based on questionable assumptions;
  • The actions proposed in the commitments are weak, rarely evidence-based and are unlikely to reduce harmful alcohol use;
  • Prior initiatives advanced by the alcohol industry as contributions to the WHO Global Strategy have major limitations from a public health perspective; and
  • The signatories are misrepresenting their roles with respect to the implementation of the WHO Global Strategy.

Given the above, the coalition has proposed a united response from the global health community, by asking qualified professionals throughout the world to review the coalition’s Statement of Concern, and indicate their endorsement by sending an email to the office of the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance. All NAAA members are encouraged to carefully review the Statement of Concern and consider providing individual or organisational endorsement.

To indicate your endorsement, send an email to the office of the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) at gapa@ias.org.uk. Please give the following details: Full name; Professional title; Institution affiliation; Country. In providing these details you will be agreeing to have your name listed (but not your email address) on both the public letter to WHO and the GAPA website that will post the letter. Please note endorsement will be on an individual basis and will not imply endorsement by your organisation. However, if you are a member of an organisation that would be willing to formally endorse this Statement, please indicate this in your reply. We urge all signatories to disseminate this information within their organisations and encourage them to support the recommendations described in the Statement of Concern.