March 21 – March 25, 2022

Welcome to No. 10 of Movendi International’s Weekly Alcohol Issues Newsletter 2022. We bring you carefully curated alcohol policy news, the latest highlights from our science digest, and brand-new Big Alcohol revelations.

This week’s special feature exposes Big Alcohol’s fundamental conflict of interest. We demonstrate how contrary to what the alcohol industry claims about wanting to reduce heavy alcohol use, alcohol companies profit the most from people with heavy alcohol use.

This newsletter also includes our most recent Alcohol Issues Podcast episode (S2, E5) and alerts for two upcoming events.

Special Feature – No. 10

Big Alcohol’s Fundamental Conflict of Interest

Alcohol companies rely on heavy alcohol users for major profits

Increased alcohol consumption leads to increased negative health and development impacts, but also to increased sales for the alcohol industry, placing corporate interests in profit maximization in an inherent, direct, and fundamental conflict with the interest of people and communities in good health and development.

This Alcohol Issues Special Feature explores five key examples from around the world that illustrate Big Alcohol’s fundamental conflict of interest.

A compelling new report finds that the alcohol industry profits the most out of those who use alcohol the heaviest. Over a third of all alcohol products in Australia are used by 5% of the heaviest alcohol users.

The findings of the report demonstrate the fundamental conflict of interest the alcohol industry has. Often Big Alcohol claims it does not promote heavy use, knowing fully well that large parts of their profits come from heavy alcohol consumption.

There are three other examples from around the world illustrating the obvious conflict of interest between the private profit maximization interests of the alcohol industry and the public interest in health and development for all.

  1. Middle-income countries: Big Alcohol Relies on Heavy Users For Their Profits
  2. Study: How Dependent is the Alcohol Industry on Heavy Alcohol Use in England?
  3. USA: Big Alcohol Dependent on Heavy Users

The Alcohol Issues Podcast

S2 E5: How Big Alcohol Uses the World Trade Organization to Influence Global Alcohol Policy

Public health and human rights are at a serious disadvantage in trade and investment negotiations where preference is given to alcohol industry interests.

How and to what extent the alcohol industry uses the trade policy arena to shape alcohol policy around the world remains poorly understood. This conversation with Dr. Pepita Barlow sheds light on the issue and provides deep insights into a parallel arena that shapes health policy, without public health expertise even being present.

This episode provides profound new insights into a topic that needs much more attention.

In this episode host, Maik Dünnbier talks with Dr. Pepita Barlow about groundbreaking new research shedding light on how the alcohol industry uses the World Trade Organization to interfere against public health-oriented alcohol policy development.

Pepita Barlow is an Assistant Professor at the London School of Economics. Previously, Dr. Barlow was a Research Associate at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge and completed a DPhil (Ph.D.) at the University of Oxford. Pepita’s research examines how policies and actors outside the health sector impact health and health policy, with a particular focus on using novel methods and data to study the health impacts of trade policies and agreements.

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