You might remember a couple of months ago that the Government launched its proposed new guidelines on alcohol consumption.
The guidelines brought the recommended limits for both men and women down to the same level – 14 units per week – and chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies also recommended that people abstain from alcohol for at least two days per week.
There was a lot written at the time about how these new guidelines were as much use as a chocolate teapot, and I was minded to agree. But they’re back in the news because of a Mail on Sunday report of a “robust” challenge by the drinks industry.
The story quotes a ‘leading drinks producer’, saying that there is “a lot more to discuss”, including whether there is any scientific data for the new recommended levels.
The Portman Group backed this up, calling the new guidelines “confusing”.
Dame Sally has previous on this. The ultimate nanny state physician, Dame Sally came under fire last month when she said that women should “do as I do…think “Do I want a glass of wine or do I want to raise my own risk of breast cancer?”.
It’s a staggeringly ill-thought through statement – and when the chief executive of one of the leading Breast Cancer charities agrees, you might get the impression you’ve missed the mark.
In a letter to the Telegraph, chief executive of Breast Cancer Care Samia al Qadhi said that drinking should be seen as “part of the big picture”.
“Women must be able to make informed decisions that are right for them,” she finished.
I don’t doubt that Dame Sally Davies has good at heart. But appealing reduced drinking limits isn’t exactly a good news win-win story for the drinks industry – so if they’re launching a robust challenge, you can bet there’s a reason.
Stop throwing out ideas that aren’t based on reality, and start trying to educate and inform people.