5th October 2018, Volume 131 Number 1483

Sally Casswell

The launch of a new body representing alcohol industry interests in New Zealand is not surprising, but the choice of a relatively high profile Chief Executive (ex Porirua mayor, Nick…

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Summary

The launch of a new alcohol industry body, the Alcohol Beverages Council, provides an active voice in the media debate on alcohol policy in New Zealand. The Council’s messages are the usual ones offered by the alcohol industry and include erroneous statements about evidence-based policies. At the global level these messages, in the context of corporate social responsibility and lobbying activities, have been successful in subverting effective policy. A similar lack of policy implementation has happened in New Zealand. Underpinning the industry lobbying is the need to protect their sales and profits, 46% of which, in New Zealand, are derived from very heavy drinking occasions. It is important policy makers and media recognise the conflict of interest inherent in these messages.

Abstract

The launch of a new alcohol industry body, the Alcohol Beverages Council, provides an active voice in the media debate on alcohol policy in New Zealand. The Council’s messages are the usual ones offered by the alcohol industry: a focus on the drinker, not the product; protection of the rights of the moderate drinker; arguments for education; and erroneous statements about evidence-based policies. At the global level these messages, in the context of corporate social responsibility and lobbying activities, have been successful in subverting effective policy. A similar lack of policy implementation has happened in New Zealand. Underpinning the industry lobbying is the need to protect their sales and profits, 46% of which, in New Zealand, are derived from very heavy alcohol consumption. It is important policy makers and media recognise the conflict of interest inherent in these messages.

Author Information

Sally Casswell, Director, SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, College of Health, Massey University, Auckland.

Correspondence

Professor Sally Casswell, SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, PO Box 6137, Wellesley Street, Auckland 1141.

Correspondence Email

s.casswell@massey.ac.nz

Competing Interests

Nil.

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