Alcohol Issues
Achieving the SDGs Through Alcohol Policy: European Countries Ignore The Potential

Achieving the SDGs Through Alcohol Policy: European Countries Ignore The Potential

May 6, 2022

Achieving the SDGs Through Alcohol Policy: European Countries Ignore The Potential

The Alcohol Issues Podcast – Season 2 Episode 09

Flawed understanding of alcohol harm leads to lost potential in using alcohol policy as catalyst for sustainable development.

Alcohol is, for example, a driver of poverty and hunger (SDG 1 and 2). The products and practices of the alcohol industry cause a significant and increasing global disease burden (SDG 3). Alcohol is a risk factor for violence (SDG 5 and 16), and it contributes to inequalities (SDG 5 and 10). The harm caused by alcohol companies undermines economic productivity and hinders economic growth (SDG 8), disrupts sustainable consumption (SDG 12) and adversely impacts the environment (SDG 6, 13 and 15). 

But these effects are not considered by European countries in the design of measures to achieve these sustainable development goals. Effective alcohol policy solutions, the so called three best buys, are largely missing from transformative action that the Agenda 2030 calls for and that governments committed to.

In this show guest host Pierre Andersson talks with Kristina Sperkova about her freshly published peer-reviewed research article that examines how European countries address alcohol as obstacle to development.

In their conversation, they discuss alcohol policy issues beyond the WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan to enhance the understanding of alcohol policy not only as public health priority but also as human rights priority – and the potential of such an approach.

S2 E9 Topic: New Study Illustrates Failure of European Countries to Address Alcohol as Obstacle to Sustainable Development

Alcohol is, for example, a driver of poverty and hunger (SDG 1 and 2). The products and practices of the alcohol industry cause a significant and increasing global disease burden (SDG 3). Alcohol is a risk factor for violence (SDG 5 and 16), and it contributes to inequalities (SDG 5 and 10). The harm caused by alcohol companies undermines economic productivity and hinders economic growth (SDG 8), disrupts sustainable consumption (SDG 12) and adversely impacts the environment (SDG 6, 13 and 15). 

 

But these effects are not considered by European countries in the design of measures to achieve these sustainable development goals. Effective alcohol policy solutions, the so called three best buys, are largely missing from transformative action that the Agenda 2030 calls for and that governments committed to.

A brand-new study provides ground-breaking analysis showing that most European countries fail to address alcohol as obstacle to multiple other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) than health in the design of measures to make progress towards the SDGs. To make matters worse, inaccurate language related to alcohol harm indicates gaps in understanding of the extent of the alcohol burden and the consequences for sustainable development. 
This first-of-its-kind study, published in the peer reviewed journal PLOS ONE, spotlights the need to improve countries’ recognition of alcohol harm as cross-cutting impediment to 14 of 17 SDGs and countries’ capacity to utilize alcohol policy solutions as catalyst for sustainable development.

The guest host and the guest expert

This episode is guest hosted Pierre Andersson. He talks with Kristina Sperkova about her brand new study about the uptake of alcohol policy as catalyst for sustainable development in European countries.

Pierre Andersson is the Policy Advisor Alcohol and Development at the IOGT-NTO Movement, from Sweden. The IOGT-NTO Movement is a Swedish development organization that works for poverty eradication by supporting partners to tackle alcohol as obstacle to development. Pierre has extensive experience is journalism as well as development work.

Kristina Sperkova is the International President at Movendi International. She is the lead author of the peer-reviewed research article “Alcohol policy measures are an ignored catalyst for achievement of the sustainable development goals” that she co-authored with Peter Anderson, Eva Jané Llopis.

Resources for the episode 

Feedback

Your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future topics and guests is most welcome. Please get in touch at: maik.duennbier@movendi.ngo.

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

 

A Human Rights Based Approach to Alcohol Policy: the WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan and Beyond

A Human Rights Based Approach to Alcohol Policy: the WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan and Beyond

May 2, 2022

A Human Rights Based Approach to Alcohol Policy: the WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan and Beyond

The Alcohol Issues Podcast – Season 2 Episode 08

Lost opportunity or new momentum or both?

In the end of May, the 75th World Health Assembly will discuss and adopt the WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan. It is meant to help accelerate action on alcohol policy development after a lost decade when no progress was made.

But is the new action plan up to the task or is it a lost opportunity for accelerating action on alcohol as public health priority? 

In this show host Maik Dünnbier talks with Prof. Amandine Garde about the human rights law perspective on the global alcohol action plan. 

In their conversation, they discuss alcohol policy issues beyond the WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan to enhance the understanding of alcohol policy not only as public health priority but also as human rights priority – and the potential of such an approach.

S2 E8 Topic: Improving the global alcohol policy response with a Human Rights based approach

In this conversation, Amandine shares her analysis of the strengths and gaps of the draft WHO Global Alcohol Plan. Maik and Amandine discuss the potential of a human rights based approach to improving the global and regional alcohol policy response. They talk about alcohol issues, such as labelling, trade, taxation, and the harm caused by the products and practices of the alcohol industry – from a human rights law perspective. And they dive into why and how governments should act collectively to protect people from alcohol harm.

 

The discussion goes into depth regarding the following questions:

  1. What does a Human Rights based perspective of the WHO Global Alcohol Action Plan find?
  2. What is a rights-based approach to alcohol policy development and what is its potential?
  3. What can countries do collectively to advance alcohol policy development, regarding the many cross-border alcohol issues, such as taxation, marketing, labeling, the emergence of online trade and on-demand delivery?
  4. What is the potential of a global binding instrument for alcohol control?

The guest

Amandine Garde is a Professor of Law at the University of Liverpool. She has developed a specific research expertise on the role of law in the prevention of non-communicable diseases and is Founding Director of the Law & NCD Research Unit, which regularly advises international organisations, NGOs, public health agencies and governments worldwide.

Resources for the episode 

140+ scientific articles about alcohol harm and human rights, from Movendi International’s Science Digest.

700+ news stories about alcohol policy development and human rights, from Movendi International’s News Center.

The UNICEF report, April 2018: “A CHILD RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH TO FOOD MARKETING: A GUIDE FOR POLICY MAKERS

Prof. Garde’s publications on NCDs (including alcohol) and human rights, relevant recent studies:

  1. On the rocks? A few sobering thoughts on the growing EU alcohol problem

    • Garde, A., & Bartlett, O. (2017). On the rocks? A few sobering thoughts on the growing EU alcohol problem. In T. Hervey, C. Young, & L. Bishop (Eds.), Research Handbook on EU Health Law and Policy. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. doi:10.4337/9781785364723.00029 DOI: 10.4337/9781785364723.00029
  2. Regulating Lifestyle Risks: The EU, Tobacco, Alcohol and Unhealthy Diets (Book)
    • Alemanno, A., & Garde, A. (Eds.) (2015). Regulating Lifestyle Risks: The EU, Tobacco, Alcohol and Unhealthy Diets. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781107478114 DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781107478114
  3. Combatting obesogenic commercial practices through the implementation of the best interests of the child principle(Chapter)
    • Garde, A., Byrne, S., & Byrne, S. (2020). Combatting obesogenic commercial practices through the implementation of the best interests of the child principle. In Ending Childhood Obesity – A Challenge at the Crossroads of International Economic and Human Rights Law (pp. 251-281). Edward Elgar.
  4. Digital food marketing to children: Exploitation, surveillance and rights violations (Journal article)
    1. Tatlow-Golden, M., & Garde, A. (2020). Digital food marketing to children: Exploitation, surveillance and rights violations. Global Food Security. doi:10.1016/j.gfs.2020.100423 DOI: 10.1016/j.gfs.2020.100423
  5. Harmful Commercial Marketing and Children’s Rights: For a Better Use of EU Powers (Journal article)
    1. GARDE, A. (2020). Harmful Commercial Marketing and Children’s Rights: For a Better Use of EU Powers. European Journal of Risk Regulation, 11(4), 841-850. doi:10.1017/err.2020.83 DOI: 10.1017/err.2020.83
  6. International Investment Law and Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention (Journal article)
    1. Garde, A., & Zrilic, J. (2020). International Investment Law and Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention. The Journal of World Investment & Trade, 21(5), 649-673. doi:10.1163/22119000-12340190 DOI: 10.1163/22119000-12340190

Feedback

Your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future topics and guests is most welcome. Please get in touch at: maik.duennbier@movendi.ngo.

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

Lessons From Big Tobacco: How and Why Big Alcohol Created Social Aspects Public Relations Organizations

Lessons From Big Tobacco: How and Why Big Alcohol Created Social Aspects Public Relations Organizations

April 8, 2022

Lessons From Big Tobacco: How and Why Big Alcohol Created Social Aspects Public Relations Organizations

The Alcohol Issues Podcast – Season 2 Episode 07

A new groundbreaking study changes our understanding of the alcohol industry, elucidating similarities and inter-relationships with the tobacco industry.

The researchers examined the Truth Tobacco Documents Library to gain unique insights regarding alcohol industry social aspects organizations. They analyzed content directly from industry actors themselves. This way the researchers are now able to tell the story of how and why Big Alcohol began creating public relations front groups.

This podcast episode with Jim McCambridge is part of Movendi International’s work to raise awareness about the unethical practices of the alcohol industry and how to advance public health oriented alcohol policy solutions.

Analyzing internal industry documents

In this episode host Maik Dünnbier talks with Professor Jim McCambridge. The conversation with Jim provides deep insights into the evolution of social aspects and public relations organizations that operate in the interest of alcohol companies. They discuss, for example, that based on the study’s findings alcohol companies’ front groups can no longer be called “social aspects” organizations.

 

In this conversation Prof. Jim McCambridge shares unique insights into the origins and purposes of alcohol industry “social aspects organizations” as portrayed in internal tobacco industry documents. 

The guest

Jim McCambridge holds the Chair in Addictive Behaviours & Public Health at the University of York. Jim is also Visiting Professor at Linkoping University in Sweden, and Conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle in Australia. Jim now holds a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award in Humanities and Social Science to advance study of the alcohol industry, public health sciences and policy. This supports one of two five-year research programmes that Jim leads. 

Jim first trained in Sociology, then in Social Work, and went on to work with drug users. His PhD study, at the National Addiction Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, was a randomised controlled trial of motivational interviewing for drug prevention among young people.

Jim’s scientific work is dedicated to policy-related research that seeks to develop our understanding of the roles the alcohol industry plays in national and international policy making context.

S2 E7 Topic

The alcohol industry regards the harms caused by the use of their products as a public relations issue that needs to be managed as such. So, in the 1950s the began working with the tobacco industry to devise strategies to undermine policy as well as science development.

Maik and Jim discuss what the long-term public relations goals of the alcohol are.

And they dive into three major developmental periods in the evolution of alcohol industry social aspects organizations to discuss which threats the alcohol industry felt they need to respond to and which strategies they deployed.

The conversation explores the objectives and methodology of the study entitled “The Origins and Purposes of Alcohol Industry Social Aspects Organizations: Insights From the Tobacco Industry Documents”.

Maik and Jim talk about two major questions: 

  1. What is the strategic purpose of SAPROs for the alcohol industry? Why do they spend considerable amounts on SAPROs? 
  2. And which major developmental periods in the evolution of alcohol industry social aspects organizations can be identified and what do we learn from them?

In the study, Jim and colleagues show that the alcohol industry identified the developing population-level understanding of alcohol problems in the 1980 as existential threat. That is a remarkable finding and so Maik discusses this issue in depth with Jim.

There is another remarkable thought in the study:

"It is challenging to contemplate just how profoundly the alcohol industry may have biased what we think we know about alcohol.”

Jim McCambridge, Jack Garry, and Robin Room, The Origins and Purposes of Alcohol Industry Social Aspects Organizations: Insights From the Tobacco Industry Documents, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 2021 82:6, 740-751

Jim talks about what that means and what could be done about this.

Resources for the episode 

Increased pressure on risk industries to reduce their negative impact on society has resulted in an increasing volume of “risk” and “responsibility” communications from interest groups known as Social Aspects Public Relations Organizations (SAPROs). 

Building on risk industry research from the public health sphere, this article examines the SAPRO phenomenon and situates it in the political public relations (PR) literature. Specifically, it considers how SAPROs perform an indirect lobbying function on behalf of their funding industries.

The U.S. distilled spirits industry regarded the harms caused by use of their products as a public relations issue to be managed. The strategy designed by H&K was founded on the importance of managing the science in highly similar ways to the approach they developed for the tobacco companies, reproducing a playbook of key messages that have endured for decades.

Feedback

Your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future topics and guests is most welcome. Please get in touch at: maik.duennbier@movendi.ngo.

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

 

How Big Alcohol Derails Alcohol Prevention Efforts in the Netherlands

How Big Alcohol Derails Alcohol Prevention Efforts in the Netherlands

March 29, 2022

How Big Alcohol Derails Alcohol Prevention Efforts in the Netherlands

The Alcohol Issues Podcast – Season 2 Episode 06

This episode is a brand new and real time case study of how the alcohol industry hijacks and derails alcohol prevention efforts.

People and communities in the Netherlands are burdened by heavy alcohol harm. And in 2018 the government made a commitment to better prevent and reduce that harm.

Unfortunately, though, this is all unravelling now.

The Pitfalls of Big Alcohol Being at the Policy Table

To understand the alcohol policy debate in the Netherlands, host Maik Dünnbier talks with Wim van Dalen of STAP. Wim tells the story of an alcohol prevention effort that got totally hijacked and derailed by the alcohol industry.

It started with ambitious targets to better protect people from alcohol harm but now the country faces the real possibility that alcohol will become even more easily and widely available.

The conversation between Maik and Wim is very timely because there are important alcohol policy development processes going on at national, European, and global levels where the alcohol industry is also interfering and trying to get a seat at the table.

But the case of the alcohol roundtables in the Netherlands illustrates clearly what the pitfalls are.

Read full story: "The Pitfalls of Big Alcohol Being at the Policy Table: Dutch Alcohol Industry Derails Efforts to Prevent, Reduce Alcohol Harm"

The guest

Wim van Dalen is a sociologist. He graduated the University of Wageningen in 1976. He is one of the first university-trained health educators in the Netherlands. Wim worked for 4 years as a national policy officer at the former Federation of Alcohol en Drugs Institutions and then worked for more than 15 years as a project developer and later as manager in a regional addiction institution.

From 1986 he was a member of the advisory committee of the national alcohol campaign ‘Drink destroys more than you would like’ of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. From 1996 to 2002 he led this campaign as an employee of the Netherlands Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

In 2002 he became director of STAP. He is also chairman of EUCAM, a European network of organizations that focus on monitoring alcohol marketing.

S2 E6 Topic

Wim van Dalen is one of the most renowned and accomplished public health alcohol policy champions in the Netherlands and Europe. In the conversation he will touch upon some of the policy improvements he was part of bringing about in the Netherlands over the years. 

And in this capacity, Wim is at the center of the current alcohol policy debate. Through talking with him, we get a seat in the front row to better see and understand the alcohol harm and policy solutions needed in the Netherlands and how the alcohol industry lobbies to derail and obstruct efforts to develop evidence-based public health action on alcohol harm.

Resources for the episode 

In recent years, some alcohol policy improvements have been decided in the Netherlands, while more ambitious action is lacking.

Feedback

Your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future topics and guests is most welcome. Please get in touch at: maik.duennbier@movendi.ngo.

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

 

How Big Alcohol Uses the World Trade Organization to Influence Global Alcohol Policy

How Big Alcohol Uses the World Trade Organization to Influence Global Alcohol Policy

March 5, 2022

How Big Alcohol Uses the World Trade Organization to Influence Global Alcohol Policy

The Alcohol Issues Podcast – Season 2 Episode 05

This podcast episode is part of Movendi International’s work to raise awareness about the unethical practices of the alcohol industry and how to advance public health oriented alcohol policy solutions to protect people and communities from the harm caused by the products and practices of the alcohol industry.

No Ordinary Commodity: Trade, Big Alcohol and Alcohol Harm

This episode provides profound new insights into a topic that needs much more attention.

Public health and human rights are at a serious disadvantage in trade and investment negotiations where preference is given to alcohol industry interests.

How and to what extent the alcohol industry uses the trade policy arena to shape alcohol policy around the world remains poorly understand. This conversation with Dr Pepita Barlow sheds light on the issue and provides deep insights into a parallel arena that shapes health policy, without public health expertise even being present.

The guest

Pepita Barlow is an Assistant Professor at the London School of Economics. Previously, Dr Barlow was a Research Associate at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge and completed a DPhil (PhD) at the University of Oxford. Pepita’s research examines how policies and actors outside the health sector impact on health and health policy, with a particular focus on using novel methods and data to study the health impacts of trade policies and agreements.

S2 E5 Topic

Dr Barlow and colleagues conducted a qualitative analysis, studying discussions on alcohol health warning labelling policies at the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee meetings. Using the WTO Documents Online archive, they analyzed documents covering a 14 year period to identify minutes and referenced documents pertaining to discussions on alcohol health warning labelling policies.

Host Maik Dünnbier talks with Pepita about this analysis, how they worked and why this methodology matters. And they dive into the details of the findings. Maik and Pepita discuss what the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee is and why it matters for alcohol policy making.

Pepita and colleagues identified instances in which WTO member representatives indicated that their statements represented industry. They also developed and applied a taxonomy of alcohol industry lobbying talking points. That facilitated the identification of whether or not WTO member statements advanced arguments made by industry in domestic forums.

In the conversation, Pepita reveals the alcohol industry playbook deployed at the WTO. And Maik and Pepita talk about why the WTO matters so much for Big Alcohol and how public health concerns can play a stronger role in the future at the WTO.

Resources for the episode 

The study: “Industry Influence Over Global Alcohol Policies via the World Trade Organization: A Qualitative Analysis of Discussions on Alcohol Health Warning Labelling, 2010–19”

The Special Feature: “No Ordinary Commodity: Trade, Big Alcohol and Alcohol Harm

Listen to the episode

Listen to season 2, episode 05 of the Alcohol Issues Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

Feedback

Your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future topics and guests is most welcome. Please get in touch at: maik.duennbier@movendi.ngo.

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

About The Alcohol Issues Podcast

The Alcohol Issues Podcast is an original production by Movendi International. It’s a show about current alcohol issues of global importance. Through in-depth conversations with policy makers, community leaders and scientists, we explore alcohol policy issues, discuss landmark scientific studies, and expose the alcohol industry.

Big Alcohol’s Attack on the EU’s Beating Cancer Plan - A Case Study

Big Alcohol’s Attack on the EU’s Beating Cancer Plan - A Case Study

February 15, 2022

Big Alcohol’s Attack on the EU’s Beating Cancer Plan

The Alcohol Issues Podcast – Season 2 Episode 04

This podcast episode is part of Movendi International’s work to promote evidence-based alcohol policy development at all levels and to translate scientific evidence into policy action that protects people and communities from alcohol harm.

Alcohol’s cancer burden in Europe

The products and practices of the alcohol industry cause a massive burden of harm, including cancer. But most people remain unaware of this extent and severity of alcohol harm.

  • For instance, in the European Union, in 2016 cancer was the most common cause of alcohol-related deaths at 29%. 
  • Alcohol causes 7 types of cancer. 
  • Low-dose alcohol consumption levels caused almost 23,000 new cancer cases in the EU in 2017, and accounted for 13.3% of all alcohol-attributable cancers. 
    • Almost half of these (∼11,000 cases) were female breast cancers. 
    • More than a third of the cancer cases due to low-dose alcohol use resulted from a level of <1 standard alcoholic drink per day.

However, despite decades of growing scientific evidence, the general public remains largely unaware about the fact that alcohol causes cancer. One reason why is because Big Alcohol aggressively blocks this knowledge from reaching the public. The alcohol industry uses various strategies to cast doubt about the science but they do more than that: alcohol industry lobbyists interfere against public health policy making that aims to protect people and communities from alcohol harm.

Right now such a battle between corporate profit interest versus people’s health is taking place in the European Parliament.

The guests

This episode is special because it is a conversation about an unfolding policy making story. As such, this conversation chronicles a case study of alcohol industry interference against policy development in the interest of public health and protecting the people in Europe from the harms caused by the products and practices of the alcohol industry.

There’s no better guest to speak to about alcohol industry interference in the European Parliament, than IOGT-NTO – that has a permanent presence in the center of EU policy making. Host Maik Dünnbier talks with Emil Juslin and Runa Neely of IOGT-NTO’s Brussels office.

Emil Juslin is the European Policy Officer at IOGT-NTO and the head of the Brussels office. Runa Neely is the European Liaison Officer at IOGT-NTO.

S2 E4 Topic

Alcohol causes 7 types of cancer:

  1. mouth,
  2. throat (pharynx),
  3. food pipe (esophagus),
  4. voice box (larynx),
  5. breast (in women),
  6. bowel (colon and rectum), and
  7. liver cancer.

For each of these cancers, the more alcohol a person consumes, the higher is their cancer risk. There is no safe amount of alcohol concerning cancer risk.

In the EU in 2016, about 80,000 people died of alcohol-attributable cancer, and about 1.9 million years of life were lost due to premature mortality or due to disability.

Alcohol use is one of the main known risk factors for cancer in the EU; in a recent comprehensive study on risk factors for cancer in France, only tobacco smoking was reported to cause higher cancer incidence. A recent study showed that alcohol use, including low-dose alcohol consumption, continues to cause a considerable cancer burden in Europe.

Both the European Commission and the European Parliament are committed to advancing public health action, including on alcohol, to beat cancer in the EU.

But the alcohol industry is interfering aggressively.

Host Maik Dünnbier talks with Emil and Runa about what is unfolding in the European Parliament.

Emil and Runa explain the background and context of the political process in the European Parliament. And they share inside information about key issues the alcohol industry is pushing to undermine and derail an evidence-based approach to beating cancer in the EU.

They also talk about why the alcohol industry is so aggressively fighting against science and public health action. And Emil and Runa share insights about which alcohol industry actors are the most aggressive in this fight.

This discussion is a case study of alcohol industry interference in real time.

Resources for the episode 

 

Feedback

Your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future topics and guests is most welcome. Please get in touch at: maik.duennbier@movendi.ngo.

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

Listen to the episode

Listen to season 2, episode 04 of the Alcohol Issues Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

About The Alcohol Issues Podcast

The Alcohol Issues Podcast is an original production by Movendi International. It’s a show about current alcohol issues of global importance. Through in-depth conversations with policy makers, community leaders and scientists, we explore alcohol policy issues, discuss landmark scientific studies, and expose the alcohol industry.

Alcohol’s Forgotten Social Harm: Children Growing Up In Households With Alcohol Problems

Alcohol’s Forgotten Social Harm: Children Growing Up In Households With Alcohol Problems

February 10, 2022

The Alcohol Issues Podcast – Season 2 Episode 03

This podcast episode is part of Movendi International’s work to promote evidence-based alcohol policy development at all levels and to translate scientific evidence into policy action that protects people and communities from alcohol harm.

CoA Week 2022

This episode is special because it is part of CoA Week 2022, the international awareness week to bring attention to the challenges children face when alcohol harm affects their homes.

Movendi International is arranging a special online event on February 14, 2022.

The guest

There’s no better guest to speak to about this important and often overlooked child rights issue, than Nacoa UK, that has been working for several decades to help vulnerable children and bring about change.

Host Maik Dünnbier welcomes Dr. Piers Henriques, Nacoa’s Head of Communications to the podcast. Piers has been around for the full 32 years of the Nacoa journey to protect and promote the health and rights of children growing up in households affected by alcohol problems. Among other things, he has created a worldwide community of organizations advancing this cause. And he’s also masterminding Nacoa’s ‘Widening Access’ programme.

S2 E3 Topic

In the UK, 2.6 million children are growing up in homes with parental alcohol use problems. That is one in five children.

Piers and Maik talk about the extent of the problem and what it is like for children to be exposed to alcohol harm in their homes. They talk about what the children experience and what parental alcohol problems mean for them.

They also discuss stigma, the importance of a child-centered approach, and the lack of services and support for affected children and their parents.

Piers shares about the ground-breaking work Nacoa is doing and their two major projects. And Maik and Piers talk about the big picture to answer the question: What needs to happen for change? And who has the responsibility to bring about change?

Resources for the episode 

Feedback

Your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future topics and guests is most welcome. Please get in touch at: maik.duennbier@movendi.ngo.

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

About The Alcohol Issues Podcast

The Alcohol Issues Podcast is an original production by Movendi International. It’s a show about current alcohol issues of global importance. Through in-depth conversations with policy makers, community leaders and scientists, we explore alcohol policy issues, discuss landmark scientific studies, and expose the alcohol industry.

Alcohol Policy and the World Health Organization: What Happened at the Recent Executive Board Meeting

Alcohol Policy and the World Health Organization: What Happened at the Recent Executive Board Meeting

February 3, 2022

THE ALCOHOL ISSUES PODCAST – EPISODE 02 – SEASON 02

 

ALCOHOL POLICY AND THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: WHAT HAPPENED AT THE RECENT EXECUTIVE BOARD

 

This podcast episode is part of Movendi International’s work to promote evidence-based alcohol policy development at all levels and to translate scientific evidence into policy action that protects people and communities from alcohol harm.

The guest host

For this episode there is a guest host who will lead the conversation with Maik Dünnbier of Movendi International about the WHO global alcohol action plan, the discussions at the Executive Board, and many other related questions.

Pierre Andersson is hosting today’s conversation.

Pierre Andersson is the Policy Advisor on Alcohol and Development at the IOGT-NTO Movement. The IOGT-NTO Movement is a Swedish development organization that works for poverty eradication by supporting partners to tackle alcohol as obstacle to development.

S2 E2 Topic

More than 100 countries were represented by 27 statements made during the debate about the WHO draft global alcohol action plan at the Executive Board Meeting.

Following the discussion, the Executive Board decided unanimously to adopt the global alcohol action plan and recommend final approval at the World Health Assembly later this year.

This decision underlines that alcohol harm is a public health priority and that accelerated alcohol policy action has strong support from WHO Member States.

So, how did we get here? What were the key issues during the debate? And what happens next?

After an extensive, two-year long process of developing a global alcohol action plan, the WHO Executive Board discussed the plan in particular and alcohol policy issues in general.

Pierre talks with Maik about the content of the action plan, the process of developing it, and the attempts of the alcohol industry to interfere and water it down. And they share their assessments of what’s good and bad regarding elements of the action plan.

Pierre and Maik followed the Executive Board discussion about alcohol policy and we they share their impressions, reflections, and take aways. They shed some light on countries that champion making alcohol policy a public health priority and countries that promote the alcohol industry’s profit interests. And they talk about bigger picture considerations and the way forward.

Resources for the episode 

On Movendi International's News Center, you can find multiple resource on the topics covered in the conversation:

  • WHO Executive Board Discusses Alcohol Policy, Adopts Global Alcohol Action Plan. Read more here…
  • Finally a Priority? Alcohol Policy at WHO EB150. Read more here…
  • Civil Society Steps Up to Help Accelerate Alcohol Policy Action Worldwide. Read more here…
  • WHO: Global Alcohol Action Plan Consultation Submissions Published. Read more here…
  • Exposed: The Strategies Big Alcohol Deploys to Interfere in WHO Alcohol Policy Consultation. Read more here…
  • Big Tobacco’s Strategic Ally Interferes in WHO Alcohol Policy Consultation. Read more here…
  • WHO Fails to Adequately Protect Global Alcohol Policy Development From Alcohol, Tobacco Industry Interference. Read more here…
  • Big Alcohol Attempts to Undermine WHO Global Action Plan. Read more here…
  • Big Alcohol’s Fundamental Conflict of Interest. Read more here…
  • 4 Reasons WHO Should Quit the Concept of ‘Harmful Use of Alcohol’. Read more here…
  • Landmark Study: No Level of Alcohol Use Improves Health. Read more here…

Feedback

Your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future topics and guests is most welcome. Please get in touch at: maik.duennbier@movendi.ngo . You can also reach me on twitter and find my contact details in the show notes.

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

About The Alcohol Issues Podcast

The Alcohol Issues Podcast is an original production by Movendi International. It’s a show about current alcohol issues of global importance. Through in-depth conversations with policy makers, community leaders and scientists, we explore alcohol policy issues, discuss landmark scientific studies, and expose the alcohol industry.

How The Alcohol Industry Misrepresents The Truth About Alcohol And Cardiovascular Health

How The Alcohol Industry Misrepresents The Truth About Alcohol And Cardiovascular Health

October 20, 2021

The Alcohol Issues Podcast - Season 2 Episode 01

HOW THE ALCOHOL INDUSTRY MISREPRESENTS THE TRUTH ABOUT ALCOHOL AND CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

The Alcohol Issues Podcast is an original production by Movendi International. It’s a show about current alcohol issues of global importance. Through in-depth conversations with policy makers, community leaders and scientists, we explore alcohol policy issues, discuss landmark scientific studies, and expose the alcohol industry.

Background

Alcohol’s harm on cardiovascular health is arguably the area where scientific knowledge and public awareness have progressed most slowly in the last decade. For example, public health organizations and health professionals working on cardiovascular issues have been much slower to address alcohol harm in their work, compared to the area of cancer prevention, control and treatment. In addition to inaction, the myth of alcohol’s benefits for cardiovascular health persists. And in policy making processes this misunderstanding is a critical impediment to accelerating action on alcohol as public health priority. But this is changing. Today’s show is exploring why change is needed and how it can be further accelerated.

The Guests: Season 2, Episode 1

In this episode of The Alcohol Issues Podcast, host Maik Dünnbier welcomes Mark Petticrew and May van Schalkwyk.

Mark is Professor of Public Health Evaluation in the Department of Social and Environmental Health Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is Director of the NIHR Public Health Research Unit.

May is Specialist Registrar in Public Health and (NIHR) National Institute for Health Research Doctoral Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, researching the commercial determinants of health.

The Discussion: How the alcohol industry misrepresents the truth about alcohol and cardiovascular health

Our guests are two of the authors of a very important study called “Analysis of the Accuracy and Completeness of Cardiovascular Health Information on Alcohol Industry-Funded Websites”.

Together, we take an in-depth look at how alcohol industry-funded websites mis-represent the evidence on cardiovascular health.

The topic of alcohol’s impact on cardiovascular health is important in three aspects:

  1. protecting people and patients from avoidable alcohol harms;
  2. increasing public recognition of the real effects of alcohol; and
  3. facilitating alcohol policy action to prevent and reduce alcohol harm.

The Alcohol Industry and the Social Aspects and Public Relations Organisations it funds, have been shown to mis-represent the risk of alcohol with respect to cancer and pregnancy.

Therefore, the assumption seems plausible that Big Alcohol would do the same with regards to alcohol and cardiovascular health. In their recent study, researchers around Mark Petticrew and May van Schalkwyk investigated the assumption that the alcohol industry would position alcohol as ‘heart healthy’ to further undermine public perceptions of risks from alcohol consumption.

In this conversation we talk about the study, its findings and implications. The conversation provides an update about what scientists actually know about alcohol’s link to cardiovascular disease.

And we take a broader and more detailed look at the strategies and tactics of the alcohol industry to frame and misrepresent the effects of their products on human health. For instance, we talk about what we know about alcohol industry misrepresentation of alcohol’s link to cancer. And we discuss what to do with the findings of the study.

Resources for the episode 

On Movendi International's News Center, you can find multiple resource on the topics covered in the conversation, such as the link between alcohol and cancer, the link between alcohol and heart disease, the strategies of the alcohol industry, and other research projects of Mark and May relevant to this conversation.

"Alcohol Industry-Funded Websites Mis-Represent the Evidence on Cardiovascular Health"

"Alcohol, Cardiovascular Disease and Industry Funding"

"How Big Alcohol Misleads Public About Alcohol And Cancer"

"The Strategies of Big Alcohol: Downplaying the Risk of Cancer"

"Alcohol and Cardiovascular Disease – Understanding the Scientific State of the Art"

"Sludges and Dark Nudges in Big Alcohol’s CSR Campaigns”

Feedback

Your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future topics and guests is most welcome. Please get in touch at: Maik.Duennbier@Movendi.Ngo . You can also reach me on twitter and find my contact details in the show notes.

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

 

Lessons for alcohol policy from the coronavirus crisis: potential and challenges for building back better

Lessons for alcohol policy from the coronavirus crisis: potential and challenges for building back better

June 14, 2021

Alcohol Issues Podcast - Special Episode 20

Lessons For Alcohol Policy From the Coronavirus Crisis: Potential and Challenges For Building Back Better

Movendi International's weekly in-depth conversation about latest alcohol issues in policy and science and new alcohol industry revelations.

Welcome to the Alcohol Issues Podcast and our 20th episode - another Special Episode as Kristina Sperkova is back on the podcast.

Kristina is the International President of Movendi International. Movendi International is the largest global social movement for development through alcohol prevention. More than 130 Member Organizations from more than 50 countries work together to address alcohol as obstacle to development in the most comprehensive way.

In this Special Episode Kristina reflects on the recent joint event during the 74th World Health Assembly about alcohol policy, COVID-19 and building back better.

The conversation with Kristina was recorded on June 11, 2021 and the event itself took place on May 27th.

Discussing the lethal interaction between alcohol and COVID-19 and the potential of alcohol policy as catalyst for building back better

During the 74th session of the World Health Assembly, Movendi International together with the NCD Alliance, the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) jointly hosted a virtual side event with the title "Lessons for alcohol policy from the coronavirus crisis: potential and challenges for building back better".

The event brought together high-level decision-makers from member states, WHO regions and opinion leaders from civil society and intergovernmental organizations to discuss the role of alcohol prevention and control for building back better in the coming months and years.

Host Maik Dünnbier talks with Kristina about key insights and the most important lessons that were discussed during the event.

Kristina reflects on the analysis that each of the speakers shared and what she thinks the highlights were. More than a year into the global pandemic, we aimed to take stock of global and regional experiences and knowledge around alcohol and the coronavirus crisis.

We also hear from the speakers themselves with crucial facts, succinct explanations and powerful quotes.

And Kristina talks about the crucial lessons learned for the way forward.

In the event the speakers collectively mapped the needs for addressing alcohol harm going forward. And they shared lessons learned to come out of the crisis and into a better future with the help of alcohol policy solutions.

Resources for the special episode 

Read the event summary here, where you can also find all the presentations:

Three major reports have provided unique and timely insights into the lethal interactions between alcohol and COVID-19.

See the entire event

Feedback

For feedback, questions and suggestions of future topics, please get in touch at maik.duennbier@movendi.ngo.

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

 

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