Brussels, 3 February 2021 – Following today’s publication of the European Commission Communication on “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan”, which includes among other objectives the reduction of the harmful use of alcohol, the European wine sector confirms its support to the initiative and its commitment to continue to promote responsible wine consumption in the context of a healthy lifestyle and to reduce excessive and irresponsible drinking.
CEEV expresses its support to the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan initiative and its overall goal. The Communication points out the importance of reducing the harmful use of alcohol as a key priority. “The Commission Communication is a fundamental step in the EU’s response to the growing challenge of cancer and European wine companies will continue to collaborate with EU institutions to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.” said Jean-Marie Barillère, President of CEEV. “The EU wine sector has demonstrated over the past 12 years its strong commitment through the WINE IN MODERATION programme to promote responsible wine consumption and reduce the harm related to excessive and irresponsible drinking” he added.
Cancer risk cannot be evaluated in isolation, it must be assessed in the context of cultural, drinking, eating and lifestyle patterns. While it is clear that excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages carries an increased cancer risk, according to scientific evidence, drinking wine moderately, specifically as part of a Mediterranean-style diet and in conjunction with the practice of other healthy lifestyle factors, does not seem to increase the risk of cancer.
“We will remain attentive to the development of the actions proposed in the field of taxation and consumer information to ensure that reducing harmful use of alcohol genuinely remains the main target and priority” said Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, Secretary General of CEEV.
Further clarifications will be needed concerning the Commission’s proposal to develop health warnings for alcoholic beverages. Any work in this field should correctly embrace science and, more precisely, the compatibility of a moderate wine consumption with a healthy lifestyle, and should proportionately take into account the efficiency of the measure and the need to preserve the Single Market.
Among other initiatives, the Communication also proposes to revise the promotion program. “Promotion enables wine producers to better convey the qualitative image of their products and the bonds with a particular territory. The idea of reducing alcohol-related harm by reducing alcohol consumption per se is simplistic, particularly dangerous and incoherent with the EU’s quality policy. Consuming wine in moderation can be compatible with a healthy lifestyle” added Ignacio Sánchez Recarte.
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Note to editors
Founded in 1960, Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV – www.ceev.eu) represents the European Union wine companies in the industry and trade (still wines, aromatised wines, sparkling wines, liqueur wines and other vine products). It brings together 23 national organisations from 11 EU Member States, plus Switzerland, United Kingdom and Ukraine, as well as a consortium of 4 leading European wine companies. The companies represented by CEEV, mainly SMEs, produce and market the vast majority of quality European wines, both with and without a geographical indication, and account for over 90% of European wine exports.
To consult all scientific evidence, see Wine Information Council scientific document: ‘Wine consumption in the context of a healthy lifestyle and cancer risk’.
For any question, please contact:
- Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, CEEV Secretary General: firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 (0)476 88 36 75, @wine_ceev
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