The strategies of alcohol industry SAPROs: Inaccurate information, misleading language and the use of confounders to downplay and misrepresent the risk of cancer
Letter to the Editor
We start by summarising our core findings, to contextualise the rest of our response. These are that alcohol industry social aspects/public relations organisations (SAPRO) dispute in different ways the risk of cancer from alcohol consumption, particularly breast cancer, and to some extent colorectal cancer . When some risk is acknowledged, that risk is often presented in conjunction with a range of other potential confounders, thus undermining the evidence that there is an independent relationship. Smoking is sometimes used to imply that the risk is confined to smokers. Not all these strategies are used by all these (or other) SAPROs, all the time.
Several of the responses to our paper state that the relevant organisation does, in fact, include accurate information about cancer on their websites or documents, along with explicit statements about increased risk. We did not claim that all the information on these websites is inaccurate or misleading. In fact, in many cases accurate information is included, while at the same time inaccurate information is presented elsewhere. Thus, accurate information may be framed in such a way that it is simultaneously undermined…”