MEPs to vote on whether to warn drinkers off all alcohol – or only too much

MEPs to vote on whether to warn drinkers off all alcohol – or only too much

EU lawmakers will vote over the next two days on whether to warn Europeans against all alcohol consumption to fight cancer – or only against drinking too much.

The European Parliament will discuss a resolution based on the European Commission’s “Beating Cancer Plan”, outlined last year. That seeks to reduce environmental pollution, advise on diets and cut tobacco consumption.

But the most contentious issue appears to be alcohol, a major industry in Europe whose champions say the cancer fighting plan goes too far.

The lawmakers’ report, which is non-binding but could guide new rules from the European Commission, describes alcohol as a risk factor for cancer and cites the World Health Organization as saying there is no safe level of consumption. It calls for a ban on sponsorship of sports events by alcoholic beverages.

Several lawmakers proposed amendments to water down the wording. Instead of describing all alcohol consumption as a cause of cancer, they would change the report to refer only to “harmful” consumption. The call to ban sponsorships for sports would be limited to events mainly attended by minors.

“I am a strong believer that there is a difference between moderate and excessive alcohol consumption,” said Pietro Fiocchi, a member of Italy’s nationalist Fratelli d’Italia.

Results of the vote will be released on Wednesday.


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