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New ‘safe drinking’ limits are rocky road to prohibition

Press Release
Issue Date:

Embargoed: 15th September

 

 

New ‘safe drinking' limits are rocky road to prohibition

 

The 2017 Good Beer Guide (GBG) published by the Campaign for Real Ale, CAMRA, says the move to restrict drinking to no more than 14 units a week for men and women is bad science.

 

"This is the rocky road to Prohibition," the Guide's editor, Roger Protz, says. "I'm glad that in August the government rowed back on the recommendations from the UK's Chief Medical Officers and said moderate drinking imposed no greater health risk than driving a car. But the Government still supports 14 units a week and says they are based on good science when the opposite is the case.

 

"The Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, was heavily influenced by the Institute for Alcohol Studies, which is funded by the Alliance House Foundation, whose former name was the UK Temperance Alliance. The alliance grew out of the temperance movement in the United States that campaigned for prohibition in the 20th century.

 

"Professor Davies also took evidence from the Alcohol Health Alliance that claims alcohol consumption has increased in the UK in recent years. This claim contradicts official figures compiled by HM Revenue & Customs – which collects the taxes and duties levied on alcohol – that show that sales in the UK have fallen by close to 20 per cent over the past decade."

 

The Guide - this year sponsored by real ale quality assessor Cask Marque -  show that the new recommended limits are out of kilter with many other countries. The limits in Ireland and Denmark are 21 units, 25 units in the United States and Canada, and 34 units in Spain. "Are the Spanish a nation of falling-down drunks?" Protz asks. "On the contrary: we are advised to adopt their healthy Mediterranean diet, which includes wine and beer."

 

He criticised Professor Davies for saying that when she is offered a glass of wine she thinks "cancer". He points out that evidence from the School of Public Health at Harvard University in the U.S., the American Stroke Association, Tufts University in Massachusetts, and the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki, Finland, indicates that the moderate consumption of beer can protect drinkers against strokes, diabetes, heart attacks, dementia, gall stones and bone disease.

 

The American Chemical Society is conducting research into the natural chemicals present in the hop plant that could be key ingredient in the fight against cancer.

 

Roger Protz points to further evidence of falling levels of alcohol abuse from the Local Alcohol Profile for England in June that revealed that hospital admissions for under 18s had fallen by half for women by 42 per cent since 2008/9. Admissions for people under the age of 40 fell by 12.5 per cent over the past five years.

 

"The Good Beer Guide urges people to drink sensibly and moderately – and to do their drinking in company in the pub. But the restrictions urged by the medical officers are taking us on the road to Prohibition. Men used to be told to drink no more than 21 units a week. Now it's 14 units. What will the advice be in a few years' time: no units at all?

 

"All the real scientific evidence shows that moderate beer drinking can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. We should listen to the experts – not the kill-joys of the Temperance movement."

 

 

COPY ENDS

 

Notes to editors:

 

To arrange interviews with Good Beer Guide Beer editor Roger Protz will be available for interview in London on Thursday 15 September at the Bree Louise pub, Euston, in the morning and at Sambrook's brewery, Battersea, in the afternoon. Please contact Communications Assistant Ayo Kila on 01721 337 863 or press@camra.org.uk 

 

Beer quality assessor Cask Marque has sponsored the 2017 Good Beer Guide. Cask Marque makes over 22,000 unannounced visits to pubs each year and tests each cask ale on sale for temperature, appearance, aroma and taste. They are also the number one provider of Cellar Management Training  in the UK.

 

The 44th edition of the Campaign for Real Ale's (CAMRA) Good Beer Guide will be published in September and will list the best 4,500 pubs in the country chosen by its 180,000-plus membership.

 

Contact:

 

CAMRA Press Office

press@camra.org.uk

01727 337 8863

 

David Birkett

Publications Sales and Marketing Officer


A breakdown of Regional Stats in the 2017 Guide.

Central Southern        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Berkshire 53 17 14 2
Buckinghamshire 54 20 14 5
Oxfordshire 69 18 26 4
  176 55 54 11
 
East Anglia        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Bedfordshire 49 9 8 1
Cambridgeshire 70 15 21 1
Essex 110 30 30 3
Hertfordshire 64 17 34 7
Norfolk 105 37 40 5
Suffolk 72 15 25 1
Total: 470 123 158 18
 
East Midlands        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Derbyshire 95 23 65 13
Leicestershire 68 16 21 4
Lincolnshire 113 20 28 0
Northamptonshire 49 12 42 6
Nottinghamshire 74 17 23 0
Total: 399 88 179 23
 
Greater London        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Greater London 292 60 72 7
Total: 292 60 72 7
 
Greater Manchester        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Greater Manchester 158 29 70 10
Total: 158 29 70 10
 
Kent        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Kent 145 38 37 4
Total: 145 38 37 4
 
Merseyside & Cheshire        
Region 2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Cheshire 70 15 33 5
Merseyside 70 20 17 5
Total: 140 35 50 10
 
North East        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Durham 85 14 18 2
Northumberland 39 11 11 2
Tyne and Wear 59 9 27 4
Total: 183 34 56 8
 
South West        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Cornwall 62 10 33 5
Devon 125 35 50 7
Gloucestershire 103 27 41 7
Somerset 102 19 28 4
Wiltshire 62 16 23 1
Total: 454 107 175 24
 
Scotland & Northern Ireland        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Aberdeen & Grampian 41 8 11 1
Argyll & The Isles 14 2 7 1
Ayrshire & Arran 21 4 2 0
Borders 18 7 7 1
Dumfries & Galloway 20 3 5 0
Edinburgh & The Lothians 45 15 18 1
Greater Glasgow & Clyde Valley 46 9 10 2
Highlands & The Western Isles 35 3 14 1
Kingdom of Fife 21 3 6 1
Loch Lomond, Stirling & The Trossachs 21 5 12 0
Northern Ireland 20 3 19 11
Northern Isles 8   4 0
Tayside 30 8 5 0
  340 70 120 19
 
Surrey and Sussex        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Surrey 70 14 18 6
East Sussex 64 14 30 3
West Sussex 62 15 26 2
Total: 196 43 74 11
 
Wales        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Glamorgan 93 18 25 2
Gwent 39 10 8 1
Mid Wales 35 10 8 1
NE Wales 42 8 16 0
NW Wales 46 14 15 2
West Wales 70 17 16 3
Total: 325 77 88 9
 
Wessex and CI        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Channel Isles 22 3 4 0
Dorset 66 20 18 2
Hants 119 33 32 5
Isle of Wight 22 8 3 0
Total: 229 64 57 7
 
West Midlands        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Herefordshire 26 8 12 2
Shropshire 58 11 25 4
Staffs 88 26 31 3
Warwickshire 48 9 17 0
West Mids 118 29 30 1
Worcestershire 56 16 19 3
Total: 394 99 134 13
 
West Pennines        
  2017 Pubs New Pub Entries 2017 Breweries New Breweries
Cumbria 88 5 42 5
Lancashire 121 33 33 5
Isle of Man 28 4 4 0
Total: 237 42 79 10
 
Yorkshire        
  2016 Pubs New Pub Entries 2016 Breweries New Breweries
Yorkshire (East) 42 9 12 3
Yorkshire (North) 141 37 44 4
Yorkshire (South) 77 19 27 5
Yorkshire (West) 131 30 70 13
Total: 391 98 153 25