Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Then they came for the drinkers...

"Prohibition is won, now for tobacco."

So said the great anti-saloon preacher in 1919. 2011's version is only slightly different.

Cigs war won: Now cancer campaigners set their sights on beer

This is from Australia, natch. Nonsmoking drinkers should pay attention, particularly those of the complacent Campaign for Real Ale variety. This is all about you now.

HEALTH activists who believe even one alcoholic drink can cause cancer are lobbying MPs in Canberra today for limits on how much we consume and how much we pay for it.

If they're successful in branding alcohol a carcinogen it could lead to tough restrictions similar to those applied to tobacco, including warnings on labels and laws requiring plain packaging.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. Still, at least there isn't an equivalent of Action on Smoking and Health to fight a vociferous campaign against drinkers. No, hang on, there is.

Today's offensive on drinking problems, including limits on how much we consume and how much we pay for it, is being launched by the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol (NAAA), a group of health and community organisations formed in March last year.

But surely they wouldn't equate the risks of drinking with the risks of smoking?

The Cancer Council of Australia argues even one drink is dangerous, a view similar to its position that even one cigarette can injure health.

And don't bother pointing out that a little alcohol is good for your health. The wowsers have got that one covered as well.

It’s bad news for wine lovers - a leading health researcher has dismissed one of the cherished hopes of drinkers everywhere - that a couple of glasses a night is good for the heart.

Professor Tanya Chikritzhs, of the National Drug and Research Institute, says the health claims are based on flawed and biased research.

My, my. This is terribly surprising news isn't it? And all the more ironic since only last week the drinks industry was  whining about a BAT advert depicting a beer can in plain-packaging as a warning of what is to come.

Stephen Strachan, the chief executive of the Winemakers Federation of Australia, said his members would reject any suggestion of a link between alcohol products and tobacco that the ad implied. There was no suggestion that alcohol products were to be subject to plain packaging.

"Our industry does not like any association between tobacco and alcohol," Mr Strachan said.

As I've said many times before, it doesn't matter a damn how the drinks industry sees itself. It only matters how the neo-prohibitionists see them, and they see alcohol as a carcinogen that causes death, disease and "passive drinking".

It is undeniable that alcohol causes some cancers, so any dunce who justifies extreme anti-smoking policies because of the "I don't see why I should pay for smoking-related disease" argument (which is a myth anyway), should bear in mind that they've sowed the seeds of their own vilification.

As Dick Puddlecote wrote a couple of years ago:

I once suggested to some beardy tossbag from CAMRA that he should throw his weight behind objecting to tobacco prohibition because his vice was next. He piffled that drinkers were too numerous to be subject to the same denormalisation.

May God rot his middle class pompous paunch if he doesn't now realise that he was disastrously wrong.

Well, guess what? Wowsers, health fanatics and puritans are not the drinker's friend. Never have been, never will be. Those of us who enjoy pleasures that carry a measure of risk are on the same side. Always have been, always will be. The temperance lobby met with ASH in Scotland recently to swap notes, for God's sake. How far down the slippery slope do you need to be before you realise you're on your arse?

On the plus side, the temperance lobby are following the anti-tobacco blueprint to the letter, so drinkers know what's coming. On the down side, many of them have conceded so much ground to their enemy by accepting their arguments against smokers that it's difficult for them to put up a consistent defence of their own pleasures.

Still, good luck, and remember...


Anonymous said...

Rabbits blinded by the headlights...

Anonymous said...

Sweden's got the strictest alcohol policy in Europe and it's not without its problems.

Anonymous said...

Another article about alcohol in Sweden

wriggles said...

"HEALTH activists who believe....."

These MF's believe in nothing, except interfering in other people's beeswax.

It's like CRACK to them.

Angry Exile said...

Rabbits blinded by the headlights...

Nah, that'll be caused by that passive wanking I've been hearing about.

Anonymous said...

Angry Exile, Sex just for procreation and in only one prescribed position and only on certain days of the week coming to a campaign for "better health" somewhere near you soon.

James Higham said...

It didn't work in Prohibition - why do they think it would work again?

Anonymous said...

Overall mortality from alcohol-related cancersAustralia: A 2009 study found that 2,100 Australians die from alcohol-related cancer each year.[11]

Europe: A 2011 study found that one in 10 of all cancers in men and one in 33 in women were caused by past or current alcohol intake.[12][13]

[edit] Alcohol as a carcinogen and cocarcinogenThe International Agency for Research on Cancer (Centre International de Recherche sur le Cancer) of the World Health Organization has classified alcohol as a Group 1 carcinogen. Its evaluation states, "There is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of alcoholic beverages in humans. …Alcoholic beverages are carcinogenic to humans (Group 1)."[14]

[edit] Possible mechanisms of alcohol as a carcinogen[edit] AcetaldehydeAcetaldehyde is produced by the liver as it breaks down ethanol. The liver then normally eliminates 99% of the acetaldehyde. An average liver can process 7 grams of ethanol per hour. For example, it takes 12 hours to eliminate the ethanol in a bottle of wine, giving 12 hours or more of acetaldehyde exposure. A study of 818 heavy drinkers found that those who are exposed to more acetaldehyde than normal through a defect in the gene for alcohol dehydrogenase are at greater risk of developing cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract and liver.[15]


Anonymous said...

Its the same folks behind the smoking bans thats behind the alcohol movement!

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Financier of Temperance
by David J. Hanson, Ph.D.
The temperance-oriented Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) "seeks to drive adult beverage consumption underground, away from mainstream culture and public places." 1 It attempts to stigmatize alcohol, de-legitimize drinking, marginalize drinkers, and create a de facto quasi-prohibition of the legal product.

Anti-obesity the same folks again!

The public health NAZIS have spent the last 20 years getting theyre game together...

Here they have lowered medical standards of what constitutes a disease to create even more disease victims!

Weve already seen how they lowered the bar for a causal effect so they can make wild exagerated claims on smoking and ets.

Its no diferent with anything else in their war on the world!


Anonymous said...


Old Definition: Blood sugar > 140 mg/dl
People under old definition: 11.7 million
New Definition: Blood sugar > 126 mg/dl
People added under new definition: 1.7 million
Percent increase: 15%

The definition was changed in 1997 by the American Diabetes Association and WHO Expert Committee on the Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus.

Anonymous said...


High blood pressure is reported as two numbers, systolic or peak pressure and diastolic pressure when heart is at rest) in mm Hg.

Old Definition: cutoff Blood Pressure > 160/100
People under old definition: 38.7 million
New Definition: Blood Pressure > 140/90
People added under new definition: 13.5 million
Percent Increase: 35%

The definition was changed in 1997 by U.S. Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

Anonymous said...

Prehypertension, a new category created in 2003: blood pressure from 120/80 to 138/89 includes 45 million additional people! If one includes this category, we have a grand total of 97.2 million total numbers of hypertensives and prehypertensives (whatever that is).

High (Total) Cholesterol:

Old Definition: Cholesterol > 240 mg/dl total cholesterol
People under old definition: 49.5 million
New Definition: Cholesterol > 200 mg/dl total cholesterol
People added under new definition: 42.6 million
Percent increase: 86%

The definition was changed in 1998 by U.S. Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study.

Anonymous said...


Body Mass Index (BMI) is defined as the ratio of weight (in kg) to height (in meters) squared and is an inexact measure of body fat, though it supposedly establishes cutoff points of normal weight, overweight, and obesity.

Old definition: BMI > 28 (men), BMI > 27 (women)
People under old definition: 70.6 million
New definition: BMI > 25
People added under new definition: 30.5 million
Percent Increase: 43%

The definition was changed in 1998 by U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

“The new definitions ultimately label 75 percent of the adult U.S. population as diseased,” conclude the two researchers.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, thanks very much for the post about the definition of diabetes. I've suspected something like that for a while because of the reported recent "epidemic"; and also because a friend of mine has recently been diagnosed at the age of 72. A second doctor told him he was only just over the critical level and virtually told him just to take it easy on the sugar and don't worry. The first doctor prescribed him some medication, which he perhaps doesn't need to take, and he now has an enormous pot belly, despite his house now never containing any cake or biscuits and his keeping very strictly to the dietary instructions he was given.

Anonymous said...

More from Australia:
Cheap wines worry doctor

Anonymous said...

Fixed link above:
Cheap wines worry doctor

Anonymous said...

In the Climategate Scandal, original data somehow 'got lost'. It is hard to believe that, in respect of the idea that alcohol cause cancer, the data relied upon has 'got lost' since it is so recent - well, not yet. In your post, Chris, you do not mention any specific studies (which is unusual for you!), but one can only assume that the claims regarding the alcohol/cancer relationship must have come from studies.

Given that there are such studies, and given that these studies are the basis of recommendations to the Australian Government, the details of those studies should be available for any interested citizen to see. The citizens of Australia should not be in the position that we have all been in as regards smoking studies - that is, unable to access the original data.

Most of these studies revolve around a couple of thousand individuals, at most. For each individual, some sort of questionnaire must have been completed. It is not difficult to scan though a couple of thousand questionnaires with a little perseverance. Heavens! Over a period of about three weeks, I scanned into my computer 2000 pages of Feynman's 'Lectures on Physics', one page at a time! Given the original basic information, it ought not to be difficult to see whether or not the conclusions are reasonable. Without this information, there is no hope of disproving anything.

So what study is the basis for?:

""HEALTH activists who believe even one alcoholic drink can cause cancer are lobbying MPs in Canberra today for limits on how much we consume and how much we pay for it.""

Are the details of this study (or studies) available or not? If not, why not?

If you do not see the detail, strange things happen in statistics. EG. The ONS survey regarding visits to pubs used only 80 people in the age range 18 -24 for where these people bought drinks in a particular week. Even that small number was broken down into percentage groups re supermarket, pub, etc. So maybe only 10 young persons represent all young persons!

there is a chance now to find out the facts before they 'get lost'. I do not have the skill or know how to do it. Maybe you do.

Anonymous said...

"If they're successful in branding alcohol a carcinogen"

Guidelines For Alcohol Consumption Are Inadequate For Cancer Prevention
12 Jul 2011

“Current alcohol consumption guidelines are inadequate for the prevention of cancer and new international guidelines are needed, states an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Guidelines in some countries are not currently based on evidence for long-term harm. Most guidelines are based on studies that assessed the short-term effects of alcohol, such as social and psychological issues and hospital admissions, and were not designed to prevent chronic diseases. As well, in some countries, alcohol producers were either part of working groups defining sensible drinking or instrumental in dissemination of the guidelines.

There is increasing evidence that links alcohol consumption to cancer. The WHO International Agency of Research on Cancer has stated, based on evidence, that alcohol is carcinogenic in both animals and humans.”

Several evaluations of this agency as well the joint 2007 report of the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research warned of the link between alcohol and cancers in the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon-rectum and breast cancers.

Based on the evidence, “there is no level of alcohol consumption for which cancer risk is null.”

Medical News Today

Old Guard said...

It is amusing to point out that prohibition was not just a religious anti-alcohol fervour.

At that time cars could run on either ethanol or petrol. A particularly large, infamous finance investment house paid a hugely extravagant sponsorship of the prohibition lobby which banned distillation of alcohol.

Conveniently tying all consumers to petrol.