Public health groups are urging federal agencies to mention new warning labels on alcoholic beverages, indicating that they may cause cancer.
The proposed new language is, “Government Warning: According to the Surgeon General, consumption of alcoholic beverages can cause cancer, including breast and colon cancers.”
The aim of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is to raise public awareness about the very little known association between alcohol and cancer.
On Wednesday, the CFA and other public health advocacy groups sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, calling out the regulators to add the new label.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research survey, “Less than half of the American adults are aware of the connection, which amounts to a crisis in cancer prevention awareness.”
The director of food policy at the CFA, Thomas Gremillion, said, “The disconnect between alcohol’s impact on cancer and the awareness of that impact should raise alarm bells. The industry has succeeded in putting a health halo around alcohol. The government has the responsibility to give consumers the scientific information they need to make informed decisions about alcohol, just as it does with tobacco.”
The public health agencies that have urged to adopt the new label highlighted the 2016 report of the Surgeon General, which has shown the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of various cancers.
The report stated, “Even one drink per day may increase the risk of breast cancer.”
Although some studies suggest that moderate consumption of alcohol has a few health benefits, the CDC states that it is impossible to associate alcohol consumption with improved health outcomes.
Every year, more than 90,000 Americans suffer from cancers associated with alcohol consumption.
Responding to the new proposal, some people from the beverage industry said that it would be “unwarranted” move. They are even against the link between alcohol and cancer.
Jackson Shedelbower from the American Beverage Institute said, “The claim flies in the face of mountains of prior research conducted over decades that links one or two drinks a day to modest health benefits – notably a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.”
He added, “Studies recently published that conclude otherwise often fail to control for confounding variables or present the data in a misleading way.” He explained, “These kinds of cancer warnings seek more to frighten than inform.”