New Zealand: MP Under Big Alcohol Influence
A Member of Parliament in New Zealand, apparently under the influence of Big Alcohol, has organized a “Whisky vs. Gin” Cancer fundraiser, despite the known connection between alcohol and cancer.
Labour MP Louisa Wall, an ambassador for the Gynaecological Cancer Foundation (NZGCF) and Health Select Committee chair, is hosting the event as part of Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month.
The event is a partnership with Spirits New Zealand – an alcohol industry front group, representing some of the world’s largest alcohol producers such as Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Beam Suntory and Bacardi-Martini.
Doctors and public health groups have condemned the event because there is a known link between alcohol and cancer.
- Alcoholic beverages are classified as a group 1 carcinogen.
- Even low dose alcohol consumption increases the cancer risk
- Alcohol has been linked to seven different cancers, including New Zealand’s most common cancers: breast and bowel.
Research has found that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, with regard to cancer.
Conflict of interest: unethical and contradictory partnership
MP Wall is completely disregarding the connection between alcohol and cancer and the conflict of interest at the core of her initiative. Not only is she promoting “partnership” with the alcohol industry “when possible” to reduce harm. It is also highly contradictory to partner with the industry that produces the substance which is part of the problem.
Alcohol Healthwatch executive director Dr Nicki Jackson said it was a “very disturbing partnership”. She further stated, she understands the need for the Gynaecological Cancer Foundation to raise funds, but encouraged the charity to seek alternative partnerships.
The association between the alcohol industry and a cancer funding event is just wrong,” said Dr Nicki Jackson, as per Stuff.
Health Minister Dr David Clark has “decided not to attend” the event given the link between alcohol and cancer. Other public health experts and organizations have condemned the event.