Brussels, 16 February 2022 – Thanks to the efforts of Members of the European Parliament, the report of the Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) refocuses on the need to fight the harmful consumption of alcohol to reduce cancer risk. We are grateful for their efforts and commitment to put robust science at the heart of policy recommendations.
“We welcome the amended report that will be officially adopted this afternoon. The adopted text now makes the fundamental differentiation between harmful consumption and moderate consumption. It also recommends sharing with consumers moderate and responsible drinking information instead of promoting the use of unjustified health warnings” said Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, Secretary General of CEEV.
“The assumption that there is “no safe level” was misleading and simplistic as it fails to consider drinking patterns and other lifestyle factors; thankfully Members of the European Parliament agreed to amend this reference” he added.
Cancer is a multi-factorial disease and cancer risk factors must be assessed in the context of cultural, drinking, eating and lifestyle patterns. Scientific evidence indicates that drinking wine in moderation, with a meal, as part of a Mediterranean-style diet can contribute to greater life expectancy and a lower incidence of major illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
CEEV has always been supportive of the European Commission initiative “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan” and European Parliament’s report “Strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer” but reiterates the importance for all policies to be science- and evidence-based.
“As a sector, we take our responsibility and we remain committed through our program Wine in Moderation on the fight against the harmful consumption of alcohol. We care about wine consumers and we will continue to promote the sustainable culture of wine and a responsible wine consumption” said Jean-Marie Barillère, President of CEEV.
Now it is time for the European Commission to work on the legislative initiatives identified on the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan Implementation Roadmap. We call on the Commission to maintain the focus on tackling harmful consumption of alcohol and avoid disproportionate policies that will harm our wine communities and territories, an Intangible Heritage of Humanity, European art-de-vivre and a gastronomic culture, of which wine is an inextricable component. Let’s not forget that a moderate wine consumption can be part of a varied, balanced, healthy diet and lifestyle.
NOTE TO EDITORS
- Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV – www.ceev.eu) represents the wine companies in the industry and trade in the European Union: still wines, aromatised wines, sparkling wines, liqueur wines and other vine products. It brings together 24 national organisations and its members produce and market the vast majority of quality European wines, with and without a geographical indication, and account for over 90% of European wine exports.
- To consult all relevant scientific evidence, see Wine Information Council scientific document: ‘Wine consumption in the context of a healthy lifestyle and cancer risk’.
- Dr Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, CEEV Secretary General, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile: +32 (0)476 88 36 75
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- Best wishes from CEEV