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Concern at ex-lobbyist's influence

In May 2017, 19 public health advocates sounded the alarm bell at the prospect of Audrey Bourolleau’s nomination to the Élysée.

Her previous role as Delegate-General of Vin et Société was cited as a potential conflict of interests regarding public health. Eight months later, and these fears were confirmed when the wine sector lauded its ex-lobbyist for securing “something we had never received before”.

The wine sector is celebrating today after its ex-lobbyist was instrumental in successfully categorising it as a ‘prevention actor’ and therefore legitimate in the eyes of the Ministry of Health.

The wine sector cannot be trusted to be completely honest about the risks associated with alcohol consumption, and as such should have no place at the table. Whether distorting, dismissing or discrediting scientific evidence, the wine sector is well-practiced at using tactics from the tobacco industry’s playbook.

One proposal in the wine industry’s January 2018 Industry Plan is that information to consumers be provided on ‘e-labels’, which again evinces the alcohol industry’s reluctance to be fully transparent. An EU RARHA study showed that fewer than 1 in 4 respondents go online to check the ingredients or additives in their alcoholic drinks. The World Health Organisation is similarly clear that labels should remain the primary sources of information.

The wine sector is determined to implement measures that it knows to be ineffective and unwanted, with the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety unwavering in his commitment to proper labelling.

Original press release available at: