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GAPA appeals to international public health community to support Statement of Concern

The Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) is appealing to the international public health community to support an open letter to the WHO outlining concerns about the actions of the global alcohol producers.

An independent coalition of public health professionals, health scientists and NGO representatives has written a ‘Statement of Concern’ to be sent to the WHO Director General in response to the recent initiatives of the global alcohol producers.

The letter expresses several reservations about the commitment of the alcohol industry to reducing the harmful use of alcohol worldwide, summarised in 4 points:

  1. The commitments are based on questionable assumptions, as stated in the signatories’ Preamble.

  2. The actions proposed in the five commitments are weak, rarely evidence-based and are unlikely to reduce harmful alcohol use.

  3. Prior initiatives advanced by the alcohol industry as contributions to the WHO Global Strategy have major limitations from a public health perspective.

  4. The signatories are misrepresenting their roles with respect to the implementation of the WHO Global Strategy.

Professor Thomas F. Babor, who led the drafting committee, said: "We are now asking qualified professionals throughout the world to review the attached Statement of Concern, and indicate their endorsement by sending an email to the office of the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA)."

Individuals and organisations are invited to sign on to the Statement of Concern which can be accessed from the GAPA website.