Evidence based policies to set life free…

At the IOGT-USA Triennial Convention held in Geneva Illinois last year (2011), a series of Policy Statements were approved. These policy decisions cover a number of major issues involving alcohol, its use and abuse.

In this blog I will list the various policies that have been approved. In subsequent blogs, I will describe the issues in greater detail and talk about how these issues might be dealt with by our members.

This policy list is presented in such a way that various parts of it might form the basis for action and involvement plans of various individuals or chapters of the IOGT-USA.

I would be most interested in comments from others as to just how wide spread these issues may be, and how we could work to even better meet these policy objectives.

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Approved, June, 2011

To give support to our primary mission statement that we are Abstainers Working For a Better World, we, the members of the IOGT – USA advocate that:

1. Since alcohol is chemically a drug, the inclusive phrase “alcohol and other drugs” be used rather than the erroneous  “alcohol and drugs.

2. The alcohol industry be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where it clearly belongs, rather than by the current arrangement of being regulated by both the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Treasury Department.

3. All alcohol products sold in any venue will have the complete list of ingredients clearly presented along with the FDA label of nutritional values of all ingredients.

4.  A complete list of warnings of possible negative outcomes, including possible alcohol addiction, be given to all purchasers of alcohol products since it is a legal adult drug.

5. The alcohol industry spell out in its advertising, exactly what it means to “drink responsibly.“

6. The alcohol intoxication limits (Blood Alcohol Content -BAC) for driving be reduced from .08 to .05 as it is in most European countries (in Sweden it is .02).

7.  Penalties given by courts for death caused by a DWI driver be more severe and enforced accordingly. (In many states a drunk driver who has killed someone can receive as little as 4 years of incarceration with time off for good behavior.)

8.  A ban on alcohol sponsorship and advertising for all athletic and other events in which the participants are primarily under the age of 21. This would include all college and university sports.

9.  A major emphasis be made to inform young people, parents, and others about the effects of alcohol on the youths’ behavior, brain development, and other potential dangers, including addiction (alcoholism).

10. Colleges, college towns, and the parents of the students take necessary actions to severely reduce the number of accidents, deaths and other abuse caused by alcohol, with zero tolerance being the ultimate goal.

11. The alcohol industry be accountable and pay its fair Share of the expenses of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence

12. Alcohol dependence (alcoholism) is taken out of the closet and dealt with openly and directly.

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These policies are such that they can be pursued individually, by groups (Chapters and Regional Councils), and by the National IOGT-USA as a whole.