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Drinks industry supplanting government role in alcohol policies in Sub-Saharan Africa
In a number of Sub-Saharan countries the drinks industry has usurped a governmental role by designing national alcohol policies. Its motive is clearly to safeguard its own vested interests by directing the development of alcohol policies!
Who would accept Philip Morris as the designer of the tobacco policy for a national government? Should McDonald’s or CocaCola be in charge of developing national nutritional standards? Unthinkable! Should the alcohol industry’s current proposals for national alcohol policies in several Southern African states be viewed any differently?
In a number of Sub-Saharan countries the drinks industry has usurped a governmental role by designing national alcohol policies. Its motive is clearly to safeguard its own vested interests – by directing the development of alcohol policies! Such activities have resulted in industry-oriented draft national alcohol policies in some 5-10 countries. Drafts FORUT (Norwegian Campaign for Development and Solidarity) has reviewed advance the interest of SABMiller, Carlsberg and other multinational alcohol producers rather than effective strategies to protect public health.
FORUT suspects that these initiatives from the drinks industry in Southern Africa represent an attempt to pre-empt government action and specifically to head off the impact of a resolution on alcohol to be considered at the World Health Assembly this week. The International Centre for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) in Washington seems to be behind this regional effort in Southern Africa, backed by SABMiller, Carlsberg and other drinks companies.
The industry alcohol policy activities have occurred in Malawi, Uganda, Lesotho, Ghana, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia, and possibly other countries.
The alcohol industry policy proposals are on the wrong track, according to FORUT:
FORUT – Campaign for Development and Solidarity, Norway
Øystein Bakke (mobile) + 47 416 22 135, Dag Endal (mobile) +47 911 84 388