The Home Office has set a target of implementing a minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol by October 2014 in its Business Plan 2012-2015. However according sections of the alcohol industry, the plans are ambitious due to the potential legal challenges, according to a Morning Advertiser report.
The government will be conducting an impact assessment of MUP and will launch a consultation on it and other measures in the strategy in the autumn.
'Health warnings' should be included on alcohol labels
"No nonsense" health warnings on alcohol products would help inform people about the risks, says the Faculty of Public Health. According to a Guardian report warnings were suggested such as "Alcohol increases risks of violence and abuse", "Alcohol causes over 15,000 deaths a year in the UK" and "Alcohol increases risks of mouth, throat and other cancers".
Currently a voluntary labelling pledge expects more alcohol products to list unit content and guidelines, but only a warning message around pregnancy risks. Professor Mark Bellis, FPH’s spokesperson on alcohol, says: "At the moment, when people think about the dangers associated with alcohol, they are more likely to think of the problems caused by binge drinking rather than breast cancer. These health warnings would help educate the public...".
Report into alcohol strategy will want more from industry
An Health Select Committee on the Government Alcohol Strategy will publish a final report this week. The Telegraph has claimed it will warn the alcohol industry it is in the 'last chance saloon' and will face tougher regulation if it does not deliver more significant actions through the controversial responsibility deal.
Doctors called for tougher action on advertising on alcohol as part of evidence given to the committee - see Alcohol Research UK report. Alcohol Concern highlighted a recent Lords debate on the successes and failures of the Responsibility Deal and developments with the Alcohol Strategy.
Membership of Drinkaware's independent review panel has been announced - see here for details. Membership includes Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, and Chris Heffer, Deputy Director Alcohol and Drugs at the Department of Health.
Daily drinking in pregnancy 'not safe' says an NHS report after contradictory headlines based on research suggesting drinking a low or moderate level of alcohol in early pregnancy is not linked to developmental problems.
Fake alcohol products are on the rise, reports the Grocer, who said fake alcohol accounted for almost half (45%) of the 170 cases reported to the FSA’s Food Fraud Database, against 23% of the 238 reported in the same period last year.
Charities are providing drugs and alcohol services in place of the NHS, says a Guardian report. A BMJ study found that 14% of presentations at the Bristol Royal Infirmary A&E felt their attendance was related to alcohol. A Daily Mail report used the study to estimate 'Two million trips to A&E every year blamed on alcohol-related illness and injury'.
Irish health experts intend to cut the weekly recommended guidelines of alcohol to 17 units for men and 11 units for women - reports the Herald. The current lower risk drinking levels in Ireland are 21 units per week for men and 14 units per week for women. In the UK Government announced that there will be a review of current alcohol guidelines.