14 March 2011
A number of leading health groups in England have rejected a voluntary alcohol promotion code of conduct created by the government.
The 'responsibility deal' aims to curb the rising problem of alcohol abuse by encouraging the drinks industry to cut back on cheap alcohol deals and provocative labelling.
However, six healthcare bodies, including Alcohol Concern, have rejected the proposals.
The government was hoping that independent healthcare organisations would endorse the programme and give it legitimacy, however, the six charities boycotting the new deal claim it is too soft on industry and does not go far enough.
Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: "It's all carrot and no stick for the drinks industry and supermarkets.
"By allowing the drinks industry to propose such half-hearted pledges on alcohol with no teeth, this government has clearly shown that, when it comes to public health, its first priority is to side with big business and protect private profit."
The details of the new 'responsibility deal' are still unclear, but the government's health secretary Andrew Lansley has proposed a super-strength beer tax to curb excessive inner-city drinking.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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