The two biggest beer producers in the world have agreed on terms for a gigantic deal. The merger is set to create a beer behemoth responsible for one in three beers sold worldwide. We are deeply concerned as this spells trouble for people and communities around the world and will pose even greater obstacles to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals…

BMJ Editorial: Big Beer Behemoth Threat To Global Health And Sustainable Development

Anheuser-Busch InBev, currently the biggest beer manufacturer in the world and SABMiller, the second largest beer producer, are set to merge to become a giant beer behemoth, responsible for one in three beers sold worldwide – and closely tied with Big Tobacco.

As the President of IOGT International, Kristina Sperkova, wrote when news first broke: this merger has to be viewed as major threat to global health and sustainable development.

Now the British Medical Journal has published an editorial exploring the implications of the new Big Beer Behemoth:

Alcohol has comparable health risks to tobacco but none of its pariah status

The world’s two largest beer manufacturers, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) and SABMiller, have agreed in principle to merge. AB InBev, the Belgium based producer of global brands such as Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois will acquire London based SABMiller, brewer of Peroni, Miller, and Grolsch. At £70bn (€100bn; $106bn) this would be the third largest deal in corporate history, establishing a dominant position in the global beer market.

Yet the real importance of the deal is what it symbolises for the future of the global alcohol industry. Here we focus on its implications for the growing epidemic of alcohol related harm across low and middle income countries.”

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