The Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD commended the OECD’s focus on health matters, but said the OECD study on Tackling Harmful Alcohol Use: Economics and Public Health Policy missed an opportunity, saying the report struggles to offer a comprehensive analysis of the reasons and the solutions for alcohol-related harm.
“We need to know more about the effectiveness of policies and innovative solutions that support the health of our people and workforce”, said BIAC Secretary General Bernhard Welschke.
USCIB member DISCUS, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, also released a following statement on the OECD alcohol report.
BIAC said its members appreciate the challenge to come to conclusions with a limited set of data and projections, but added that it is important not to jump to narrow conclusions, such as the emphasis on prices, by increasing taxes and setting minimum prices, and greater regulation of advertising as a way to reduce harmful consumption.
In fact, governments and societies need to develop a deeper understanding of the factors that lead to abuse of alcohol and the education and prevention programs designed to curb its incidence that need involvement of all sectors. This was at the heart of recommendations from the BIAC membership that were conveyed to the OECD.
BIAC will continue to facilitate the dialogue on policies and initiatives that allow industry to be a partner in the fight against harmful consumption of alcohol. Industry has been a leader in initiatives to reduce the incidence of underage and binge drinking, and campaigns to improve road safety efforts, among others.
“BIAC is committed to continue its close cooperation with the OECD to consider the serious and widespread efforts business itself is undertaking to prevent the abuse of alcohol and to promote healthy lifestyles,” said Welschke.