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Public Health advocates unite to support Ireland’s Public Health Alcohol Bill

Friday (20 July) marked the close of the EU Commission’s TRIS notification procedure on Ireland’s amended Public Health Alcohol legislation, and the ending of the ‘Standstill’ period that delayed enactment of the legislation.

In commending the progressive action adopted by the Irish Government, and the preventative measures within the Public Health Alcohol Bill, Eurocare together with 18 public health organisations across Europe have submitted firm contributions validating the actions being proposed.

Crucially, they reaffirm the established link between alcohol consumption and fatal cancers, and the important role health warnings fulfil to inform consumers of known risk.

Amongst the leading contributors were:
U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance
CPME – Standing Committee of European Doctors
EASL – European Association for the Study of the Liver
UEG - United European Gastroenterology
WCRF - World Cancer Research Fund

as well a variety of leading advocates in the NGO community across the EU.

Commenting on these developments, Eunan McKinney, Alcohol Action Ireland, said:

To have the support of such a distinguished group of the leading public health professionals is very welcome. This is now a crucial phase for the Public Health Alcohol Bill, which continues to be assaulted and delayed by the tactics of a hostile alcohol industry.

We remain confident that the primacy of a Member State to enact necessary measures to protect public health, as affirmed last year by the UK Supreme Court decision that allowed the introduction of Minimum Unit Price to Scotland, will now be formally recognised by the Commission.

The Public Health Alcohol Bill completed the Committee Stage before Dáil Éireann’s Select Committee on Health in June. With the closure of the TRIS process, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, will be able to conclude the Bill’s final stages early in the Oireachtas’ Autumn session, which commences on 18th September.

Full details of the submission made by the various organisations cited can be viewed at European Commission's website.

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