Participants Urge International Network with No Ties to Alcohol Industry

Global Alcohol Policy Conference

The Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems and the Institute of Alcohol Studies in the United Kingdom, organized an international meeting of alcohol policy experts to exchange experiences and identify best practices in alcohol policy advocacy.

The meeting, the Global Alcohol Policy Advocacy Conference, was held in Syracuse, N.Y., on August 3–5, 2000.

Key Conclusions

  • Alcohol's contribution to global disease and disability exceeds that of tobacco, and its contribution to disability outstrips both malnutrition and occupational hazards.
  • Alcohol's impact is greater in much of the developing world, where alcohol use contributes to poverty and social problems, and where alcohol-related death and disability far outstrip any possible protective effect of alcohol consumption.
  • The alcohol industry has a clear conflict of interest regarding consumption of its products and should not be involved in the education of young people regarding the use of alcohol.

Key Recommendations

  • Participants called for the creation of a global network for alcohol policy, an organization that would advocate for policies at the country and international levels to reduce the harm that can be done by alcohol.
  • Membership would include health and welfare professionals, citizens, and consumer and research organizations without financial ties to the alcohol industry.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided a grant of $49,998 to the Marin Institute from May 2000 to August 2000 to support planning for the meeting.

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