The Irish Cancer Society has criticised the Labour Party for its decision to propose removing its own amendment to the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. The amendment which had cross-Party agreement in passing through the Seanad, will see the link between alcohol and fatal cancers recognised on labels printed on alcohol containers and in alcohol advertising.
Mr Donal Buggy, Head of Services and Advocacy at the Irish Cancer Society said: “This is a stunning U-turn from the Labour Party on hugely important provisions in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, which will help inform the public of the link between alcohol and fatal cancers, so that they can make the right choices about their health.”
“To complete such an about-face on this Bill on the verge of Committee stage in the Dáil is astonishing. We are calling on all parties to reject this bizarre change by Labour if they have any interest in protecting public health.”
Mr. Buggy said: “People who have cancers caused by alcohol are 50% more likely to die than those with other cancers. Cancers caused by alcohol are often particularly nasty ones, which have higher chances of mortality and cost more to treat. Cancer labelling will help establish a social understanding that alcohol is a dangerous commodity, which is currently far from being realised”.
Awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer is low, despite the 900 alcohol-related cancers, and 500 alcohol-related cancer deaths each year in Ireland. The Healthy Ireland Survey showed that only one in four women were aware of the increased risk of breast cancer from heavy drinking, while only four in ten people were aware of the link with bowel cancer.
Source: The Medical Independent, 15/06/18