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Alcohol industry accused of misleading public over cancer risk
World | society | 15:32, 08 September 2017 | 1628

AKIPRESS.COM - Alcohol firms are misleading the public over the risks of drinking and cancer, researchers claim.

They are using 'denying' and 'distraction' tactics to rebuff the evidence that even moderate drinking causes the illness, Daily Mail reported. Alcohol  has been strongly linked to breast cancer and research has shown that even one small glass of wine a day increases the risk by 6 per cent.

Other cancers include bowel, throat, mouth and prostate and researchers believe alcohol damages the cells, triggering tumour formation.

But research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Karolinska Instute in Sweden has concluded that alcohol manufacturers are 'distorting' the evidence. The authors looked at 30 difference websites and other documents and found that the majority 'misrepresented' the link to cancer.

Some denied the relationship existed at all whereas others claimed the evidence was 'highly complex.' The study also found the firms were particularly vague about the link to breast and bowel cancers, possibly because they are the most common types.

Mark Petticrew, Professor of Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said: 'The weight of scientific evidence is clear - drinking alcohol increases the risk of some of the most common forms of cancer, including several common cancers.

'Public awareness of this risk is low, and it has been argued that greater public awareness, particularly of the risk of breast cancer, poses a significant threat to the alcohol industry.  Our analysis suggests that the major global alcohol producers may attempt to mitigate this by disseminating misleading information about cancer through their 'responsible drinking' bodies.'

'Existing evidence of strategies employed by the alcohol industry suggests that this may not be a matter of simple error.

'This has obvious parallels with the global tobacco industry's decades-long campaign to mislead the public about the risk of cancer, which also used front organisations and corporate social activities.'

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