The alcohol industry has spent decades bamboozling its consumers over the safety of its products, according to a study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.
It seems that a group of scientific minds has determined that booze slingers have altered the facts when it comes divulging the potential health detriments of the world’s favorite inebriant.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet found that 90 percent of the health information published through the financial support of Big Alcohol “distorted or misrepresented” the true risk factors associated with the consumption of alcohol.
Among these blatant falsifications are claims that drinking alcohol in moderation is safe, as well as there being absolutely no proof that sucking down beer, wine and spirits will lead to cancer.
The details surrounding the loose concept of “responsible drinking” have all been part of a long con, says Mark Petticrew, lead researcher and professor of public health.
“The weight of scientific evidence is clear—drinking alcohol increases the risk of some of the most common forms of cancer,” he told Reuters.
“It has been argued that greater public awareness, particularly of the risk of breast cancer, poses a significant threat to the alcohol industry. Our analysis suggests that the major global alcohol producers may attempt to mitigate this by disseminating misleading information,” he added.
These are the same types of underhanded tactics that the tobacco industry once employed to put the world population at ease about smoking, Petticrew told the Telegraph.
“This has obvious parallels with the global tobacco industry’s decades-long campaign to mislead the public about the risk of cancer, which also used front organizations and corporate social activities,” he said.
It has been known for years that drinking alcohol comes with a wide range of health risks, including cancer.
Even the World Health Organization admits that booze can produce a wide variety of cancers.
“Alcohol use is a risk factor for many cancer types including cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colorectum and breast,” the organization says. “For several types of cancer, heavy drinking of alcohol combined with tobacco use substantially increases the risks of cancer.”
Yet, when shown the results of the latest study, one alcohol trade organization—the Distilled Spirits Council—claimed the results were riddled with “anti-alcohol biases.” Another group—the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking—said in spite of the findings, it stands “by the information we publish on drinking and health.”
What is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the latest research is, while alcohol, a perfectly legal substance, is shown to increase the risk for cancer, there is evidence that marijuana, an outlaw plant in the eyes of the United States government, can cure this disease.
It’s true—while the White House maintains that marijuana should remain an illegal substance in the interest of “public health and safety,” some of the government’s own agencies have unwittingly admitted in recent years that cannabis has the power to eliminate cancer cells.
In 2015, the National Institute on Drug Abuse stood in support of a study from St. George’s University of London, which found the two most common cannabinoids in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), severely diminished the ferocity of cancer cells, making patients more responsive to radiation treatment.
Interestingly, researchers were actually awarded federal funding to uncover evidence supporting the U.S. government’s claim that marijuana has “no medicinal value.”
They found proof of the contrary, instead.
“We’ve shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults,” lead researcher Dr. Wai Liu wrote in a November 2014 op-ed for the Washington Post. “The results are promising… it could provide a way of breaking through glioma [tumors] and saving more lives.”
As it stands, over half the nation has legalized the leaf for medicinal purposes, but there is not even the slightest bit of traction in Congress to put this reform into action at the national level.
In fact, there was a push earlier this week to kill a popular brand of marijuana protections known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, a move that would have given U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions the power he needs to impose a crackdown on all of those who use the cannabis plant for medicine.
Meanwhile, the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that alcohol kills approximately 88,000 Americans each year (and that’s not including cancer deaths), while the DEA admits that marijuana kills none—not ever.
The cannabis community is not asking for a ban on alcohol, only that marijuana be given equal consideration.