BURTON MP, Andrew Griffiths, has spoken out in a debate against strict new alcohol guidelines that state there is “no safe level of alcohol consumption”. The debate, called by Welsh MP Andrew Davies, took place in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 28th June.
Both the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) are critical of the new guidelines released by the Chief Medical Officer in January. The new weekly guidelines recommend that both men and women should not consume more than 14 unitsof alcohol per week and are some of the strictest in the world. To put this into perspective, 14 units of alcohol is around 7 pints of lager at an average strength of 4%. This is a reduction from previous guidelines which were different for men and women.
During the debate, Mr Griffiths voiced his concerns that the new guidelines ignore the differing rates at which men and women absorb alcohol and dismiss previous research regarding the positive health and social benefits of drinking in moderation.
Mr Griffiths said: “I am pleased to have been involved in such an interesting debate on the new alcohol consumption guidelines. The debate was an important opportunity to voice my concerns regarding the validity of the new advice. The new guidelines completely ignore the different way in which men and women absorb alcohol. People should be provided with reliable advice from the government that enables them to make their own informed decisions. ‘Project fear’ simply does not work. At a stroke, we have made 2.5 million people problem drinkers overnight.”
Mr Griffiths is a Chairman of the all-party group on beer and a patron of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Burton.
The debate continues.