Scientists reject report by Australian Alcohol Policy Coalition

A forum of international scientists has rejected the research claims of an Australian alcohol policy group, labelling them as ‘bias’ and ‘misguided’.

Last month, the Alcohol Policy Coalition released a document challenging international research on the cardiovascular benefits of red wine.

The coalition, whose members include the Australian Drug Foundation, the Heart Foundation and the Cancer Council of Victoria, claimed the health benefits linked to red wine had been overstated.

Now 40 members of a group of international scientists, known as the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research (ISFAR), have criticised the report for ignoring scientific data on the health benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption.

“Forty medics and scientists who are members of the ISFAR were disturbed that the coalition statement was limited almost exclusively to the effects of abusive drinking, was based primarily on extremely limited sources of information, and indicated a strong bias (mainly position statements by other organisations and not publications based on sound medical research) against all alcohol abuse,” the ISFAR said in a statement released last week.

The statement says the Australian report misrepresents extensive scientific data on alcohol and health, and specifically ignores scientific data indicating the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption in all developed countries.

To view the full ISFAR critique, click here.