Trade 'cannot allow' overprotective new drinking guidelines to stand

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

CAMRA and Paul Chase criticise CMO new drinking guidelines

Related tags Critical thinking

CPL director and former pub operator Paul Chase has called for an independent review of the new drinking guidelines released by chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies earlier this year.

Industry leaders said they were disappointed​ not be consulted on the new guidelines, which suggest men and women drink no more than 14 units per week (roughly six pints of beer) and abstain from drinking several days a week.

The new guidelines also suggest that there is no 'safe' level of drinking, which the industry has found particularly difficult to swallow.

Read: Licensees question new unit guidelines

Chase said: "I think that, as a sector, we cannot allow these guidelines to stand. They are the opposite of science. I would call for an independent review of the new drinking guidelines, I would call for evidence and for them to consider all of the international evidence and not just the select evidence the panel has used to put the guidelines together.

"I think that if we're going to use public health statements like this to try to give people proper information about the choices they make around alcohol then the public have a right to expect access to free alcohol science as opposed to something produced by a group of people with an agenda."

Evidence ignored

Chase argued the panel in charge of creating the guidelines had ignored considerable evidence that suggests moderate drinking has health benefits and also criticised the make-up of the panel.

He argued the panel read like a "who's who" of prominent anti-alcohol campaigners, including strong supporters of interventionist health policies like minimum unit pricing.

The chief medical officer's guidelines also came under fire from CAMRA chief executive Tim Page earlier this week, who said: "We believe the revised guidelines lack credibility, are the result of inappropriately selective scientific evidence and out of line with international standards.

"Our view is that guidance should be specific to individuals and the product of a wider range of factors, rather than the result of a one-size-fits-all approach, which we believe is both inappropriate and illustrative of an overprotective and interfering mindset."

Are you concerned about the new guidelines? Or do you think they don't matter? Email 

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