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2CH news comments

Lobbyists hijack alcohol policy reform

#1018 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 4 Jan 2015

As the federal government develops a new national alcohol strategy, researchers from the University of Newcastle in Australia and King’s College and the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London have warned that industry lobbyists are hampering efforts to curb drinking rates.

One of the researchers, epidemiologist Professor Kypros Kypri said:

I have come to the conclusion that it is no longer useful for us to be engaged in [Australian Department of Health] meetings because as health experts, all we are doing is giving their process credibility so they can tell the public they consulted with experts when in fact the so-called experts include industry lobbyists.

He has a point. Industry lobbyists have a legitimate voice, but to have them sitting at the policy table is, as Foundation for Alcohol and Research Education chief executive Michael Thorn said, like having big tobacco advising government on smoking reform.

I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.

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