//Notable Policy Developments Around the World – 11 September 2019

Notable Policy Developments Around the World – 11 September 2019


We share below recent developments. As always, we rely on FIVS Members to apprise us of noteworthy matters. Please contact the FIVS Secretariat with items you believe may be of interest.


  • European Union – New Guidelines in the case of Moderate Drinking: The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has published its new Guidelines on diabetes, pre-diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, which were developed in collaboration with the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. The document states that moderate alcohol consumption should not be highlighted as a method to protect against cardiovascular disease, contrary to the long-standing view that moderate alcohol intake has beneficial effects in the case of cardiovascular disease.
    • United States – Novel Changes in Developing Dietary Guidelines: The Trump Administration has been charged with limiting scientific input in the formulation of its 2020 dietary guidelines, raising concerns among nutrition advocates about industry influence over these recommendations. The process will apparently limit research that can be used only to studies vetted by agency officials, potentially excluding key studies and pressing issues.
  • Europe – WHO/Europe Releases Status Report on Alcohol:  The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) recently released a report on alcohol consumption and harmful drinking. Policy responses from 30 European countries suggest that heavy episodic drinking and mortality and harm related to alcohol have declined between 2010 and 2016. The report and an accompanying press release point out though that per capita alcohol consumption in the WHO European Region is the highest in the world, and recommends that governments reduce alcohol consumption through so-called “best buys,” e.g., increasing taxation, tightening marketing regulations, etc. A report in the Lancet underscores the desirability of the adoption of “best buys,” as do recent studies such as this one.
  • United Kingdom – Wine Consumption Can Be Beneficial: This recent study published in the journal Gastroenterology and conducted by researchers associated with King’s College London, has found that red wine drinkers had “increased gut microbiota diversity” – a sign of gut health – compared to those who opted for other forms of alcohol beverages. The test groups were located in the United States and the Netherlands. See also this article on the study.
    • Separately, this recent article provides a long list of healthy aspects associated with the consumption of wine.
  • United States – “Smart cars” Will Affect Views on Drink-driving: Forbes published this opinion piece by Artificial Intelligence (AI) that discusses the probable impact of driverless autonomous cars on drink-driving. Although many experts suggest that driverless cars will drastically reduce offending rates, this piece maintains that the opposite could happen.