CEEV calls for science-based alcohol recommendations

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic:getty/santje09
Pic:getty/santje09

Related tags: Wine, Red wine, Mediterranean diet, Cancer

The European wine industry body, Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV), is re-iterating the importance of ‘science- and evidence-based’ policies ahead of a vote on the European Parliament’s report in the Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA).

The CEEV is calling on the European Parliament to reconsider the statement in the draft BECA report that there is ‘no safe level of alcohol consumption’.

The CEEV says: “There is no scientific data to support an increased risk of cancer when wine is consumed in moderation, with meals, as part of Mediterranean diet and as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Cancer is a multi-factorial disease and cancer risk factors must be assessed in the context of cultural, drinking, eating and lifestyle patterns. Scientific evidence indicates that drinking wine in moderation, with a meal, as part of a Mediterranean-style diet can contribute to greater life expectancy and a lower incidence of major illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

“The “no safe level” assumption is based on a single study - Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) study published by The Lancet in 2018 – which has been severely criticized by the scientific community because for its analytical flaws. It is a modelling study based on assumptions and which does not take into consideration lifestyle, does not present all existing scientific evidence and consequently, cannot be the sole basis for drawing conclusions on alcohol consumption and cancer risk.

CEEV says the sector is committed to promoting responsible wine consumption and supports the EU’s Beating Cancer Plan and its goal to reduce the harmful use of alcohol – but says the emphasis must be on excessive and irresponsible drinking.

It also states that taxes, marketing restrictions and health warnings would be ‘poor substitutes’ for policies that tackle the root causes of harmful drinking.

“As Europeans, we should be proud of our gastronomic culture, of which wine is an inextricable component. Our art de vivre is about enjoyment of a great variety of foods, including wine in moderation if desired, in a convivial setting. Promoting this way of life is far preferable to simplistic and ultimately ineffective regulatory solutions.”

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