The alcohol industry doesn’t just hold sway over you and your mates, they’ve got friends in high places. Substantial sums of money are donated to political parties, making it pretty easy for the alcohol industry to influence policy outcomes. They also know how to skew the facts, funding research that will echo what they want to say while downplaying anything that contradicts them. When you’re only hearing the one message, one that’s driven by desire for profit, you can see why choosing to avoid booze isn’t made that easy.
Strings getting pulled:
- Donating generously and strategically to political parties, the alcohol industry knows how to secure favourable policy outcomes.
- The booze industry refuses to support alcohol policy measures that would encourage and support Aussies to drink within the recommended guidelines (such as increasing the price of cheap alcohol and limiting availability and promotion).
- They play on the fear that our economy would fall apart without people drinking, inflating alcohol’s importance. The reality is that alcohol actually costs the Australian economy $4.3 billion each year in lost productivity, health, law enforcement and social costs.
- The booze industry continues to try to convince us that alcohol is good for us by funding scientific researchers to produce favourable findings (e.g. a glass of red wine a day prevents heart disease) while overlooking the common diseases caused by alcohol.
- They use information in a misleading way, cherry picking facts that are irrelevant. For instance, while alcohol consumption is decreasing overall, hospitalisations, ambulance attendances and violence due to alcohol use are increasing.
- They create doubt by attacking the authenticity and integrity of researchers who publish research about the harms of alcohol.