Drinks industry downplaying alcohol-cancer link – report

Portman Group and Drinkaware among those accused by academics of obscuring heightened risks of cancer in drinkers

The drinks industry is misleading the public by downplaying and misrepresenting the link between alcohol and cancer – especially breast cancer – in a bid to protect its profits, new research claims.

Alcohol firms and “responsible drinking” bodies they fund are denying that drink causes cancer and distorting the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, in information they provide to consumers, according to the British-led team of international experts behind the findings.

Despite portraying themselves as socially responsible, many drinks producers are also trying to distract attention from alcohol’s well-established role as a key cause of cancer, confuse consumers and blame other factors, it is claimed.

Their “denial, distortion, distraction” tactics closely resemble those cigarette companies used to limit exposure of tobacco’s role as a main cause of cancer. They are being deployed in particular on bowel and breast cancer, two of Britain’s most common and most lethal forms of the disease, the academics allege.

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