Scientist: alcohol education, not prohibition

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Brain, Alcoholic beverage

One of the UK's top scientists has lent her support to the trade's campaign for improved alcohol education as an alternative to a clampdown on...

One of the UK's top scientists has lent her support to the trade's campaign for improved alcohol education as an alternative to a clampdown on drinking.

Speaking last week at one of the Top Table Talks, a series of lectures organised by drinks watchdog The Portman Group, Baroness Susan Greenfield, an expert on the human brain, said she felt that any alcohol strategy introduced by ministers needed to take into account the different effects alcohol could have on each individual.

She said: "The effects of alcohol are determined by the landscape of the individual's brain and the external environment and context in which drinking takes place, so it is unwise to make any sweeping statements or assumptions about alcohol.

"Government strategy should strive to reduce misuse by focusing on the consequences - be they social, general health, psychological or neurophysiological - of that misuse, not by targeting the substance itself. Personal responsibility is often overlooked and under-resourced."

Her views support the arguments put to ministers by the trade, which wants to see emphasis placed on alcohol education rather than prohibition.

Jean Coussins, director of The Portman Group, welcomed the Baroness's words. She said: "It is reassuring to hear a scientist talk up the importance of personal responsibility.

"Too often we hear knee-jerk responses to alcohol misuse calling for more legislation, more regulations and more restrictions. Of course there needs to be control, both for consumers and on the industry. That's why we support the laws on drink-driving and underage sales.

"But the best antidote to alcohol misuse is responsible choice by well-informed individuals."

The Department of Health is expected to issue its long-awaited strategy on alcohol misuse this year.

Related topics: Legislation

Property of the week

The Hazeldene Hotel

- Tenancy

The Hazeldene Hotel is opposite the Famous Blacksmiths Shop in Gretna Green. With 11 letting rooms, it is in a prime location to offer fantastic...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more