New Resource: World Map of Big Alcohol Interference
IOGT International has released a brand new resource to map the global alcohol industry, reveal Big Alcohol’s lobbying front group and to illustrate concrete case stories of alcohol industry interference from around the world.
ALCOHOL INDUSTRY INTERFERENCE WORLDWIDE
Big Alcohol Exposed
The new resource contains three compelling maps revealing the nature of the global alcohol industry: a first-ever illustration of the global alcohol industry and their major brands; an innovative map of the global lobbying front group working on behalf of 11 of the biggest alcohol producers; and finally a unique visualization of concrete cases of alcohol industry interference in national and local processes to formulate public health policies.
Big Alcohol and their biggest brands
The first map depicts the ten biggest alcohol producers in the world and their global and regional brands. The 10 largest alcoholic beverages companies worldwide are ranked according to total annual sales (domestically and internationally), as of December 2018. Company sales may include products other than alcoholic beverages – which is also illustrated in the map.
This map is an innovative approach of illustrating how many brands a few of the biggest alcohol producers own.
It is largely these companies and brands that fuel pre-mature death and disease, for example NCDs such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes; or infectious diseases like HIV/ Aids or tuberculosis. Moreover, the practices and products of Big Alcohol fuel accidents, injuries and violence, mental ill-health and suicides, and cause loss of quality of life – the costs are staggering. The economic burden of alcohol worldwide is substantial, accounting for up to 5.44% of Growth Domestic Product in some countries.
Big Alcohol lobbying front group exposed
The second map reveals the nature of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) – Big Alcohol’s global lobby front group. It is directly funded by 11 of the largest multinational alcohol corporations and comprises all three industry branches (wine, beer and liquor), representing the majority of global and regional alcohol brands.
Many of these corporations are interconnected among themselves and with other health harmful industries, especially the tobacco industry.
Best buddies with Big Tobacco
For instance, the chairman of the board of AB InBev hails from Big Tobacco. Additionally, Altria, formerly known as Philip Morris, holds approximately a 10% economic interest in AB InBev, generating profits for Big Tobacco from the $36 billion global beer profit pool.
IARD attack on alcohol taxation
The new resource also tells the story of how the IARD lobbies against alcohol taxation and how they mislead about the link between alcohol and cancer.
When negotiating the Montevideo Roadmap on NCDs in 2017, alcohol taxation was included as possible option in the draft version but dropped from the final version. Private sector entities, primarily representing the food and alcohol industries, were the only group to claim that taxing harmful products is inefficient and ineffective.
IARD attack on science about alcohol and cancer
IARD provides misleading information to undermine the public’s and lawmakers’ understanding of alcohol’s cancer risk. IARD is found stating that there is no increase in risk associated with ‘light or moderate’ alcohol use, that the increased risk is ‘in general associated with heavy alcohol use’ (undefined), or where it appears to imply that alcohol is protective of colorectal cancer in smokers.
Big Alcohol’s worldwide footprint of policy interference
12 cases from around the world show how the alcohol industry interferes with public policy making processes. Derailing, obstructing, undermining the formulation and implementation of evidence-based and WHO-recommended alcohol policy best buy measures.