The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has hit back at claims that one glass of wine or a pint of beer a day for men - and even less for women - is dangerous for health.
The North West Public Health Observatory said women drinking just 15 units a week risk their health and men drinking 22 units also enter the hazardous zone.
The research, commissioned by the Department of Health, also found that people in affluent areas were more likely to drinking above "sensible levels" than those in poorer areas.
BBPA director of
communications Mark Hastings said: "I think that these highly inflammatory headlines need to be balanced with an appreciation of what we're dealing with.
"Serious questions need to be asked about the credibility of any report that says that drinking a glass of wine a day should be classed as 'hazardous drinking'. We do, however, think it's very important that the debate has moved beyond the pub and the high street and into the homes of the middle classes."
Hastings continued: "As 60% of all alcohol sales in the UK are consumed at home, only focusing on the on-trade is certainly a recipe for failure."
Last week, the BBPA released figures showing alcohol consumption had fallen since the introduction of the Licensing Act - we now drink 8.9 litres of pure alcohol per person per year, compared with 9.4 litres in 2004.