Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed the European Parliament’s endorsement of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee’s policy recommendations on alcohol-related harm.
Ms. Childers, a leading Committee advocate for tougher action to curb excessive alcohol consumption, applauded today’s call for a new Alcohol Strategy at EU level to fight alcohol related harm.
Speaking after the positive vote by the full house in Strasbourg, this afternoon, Ms. Childers said:
“Alcohol harm is the third cause of preventable premature death and disease in Europe. This makes excessive drinking an extremely serious public health issue, which takes a heavy human toll on individuals, families and the community at large.
“It is therefore no surprise that alcohol-related harm has an overall impact estimated at €156 billion back in 2010.
“We had an alcohol strategy in place from 2006 until 2012, focused on preventing the negative impacts of alcohol on the unborn, our youth, as well as on the workplace and road safety. We want it back.
“Unfortunately, industry lobbying prevented the mandatory labelling of the calorie count in alcoholic drinks but we want the Commission to revisit the issue.
“The Commission had a mandate to report on this requirement, which was due last December, and we are still waiting for it.
“The right-wing voted to restrict this demand to so-called “alcopops”, but thankfully a majority of colleagues defeated it. It is a matter of information, awareness and consumer choice that even the European brewing industry has come to support.
“Prevention and the stringent enforcement of legislation to prevent the sale of alcohol to minors are an absolute priority at a time when very worrisome drinking habits and patterns cause serious harm.”