The alcohol industry, also known as Big Alcohol, is the commercial industry involved in the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages. The industry has been criticised in the 1990s for deflecting attention away from the problems associated with alcohol use. The alcohol industry has also been criticised for being unhelpful in reducing the harm of alcohol.
The World Bank works with and invests in alcohol industry projects when positive effects with regard to public health concerns and social policy are demonstrated. Alcohol industry sponsored education to reduce the harm of alcohol actually results in an increase in the harm of alcohol. As a result, it has been recommended that the alcohol industry does not become involved in alcohol policy or educational programs.
In the UK the New Labour government took the view that working with the alcohol industry to reduce harm was the most effective strategy. However, alcohol-related harm and alcohol abuse increased. The alcohol industry has been accused of exaggerating the health benefits of alcohol which is regarded as a potentially dangerous recreational drug with potentially serious adverse effects on health.
Since ethanol was classified as Class I carcinogen and there is no safe dose of alcohol; the alcohol industry is considered one of main contributor to formation of civilization or lifestyle diseases. The alcohol industry has tried to actively mislead the public about the risk of cancer due to alcohol consumption, in addition to campaigning to remove laws that require alcoholic beverages to have cancer warning labels.
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