Academics ‘appalled’ at alcohol violence report
Source: The Spirits Business
by Melita Kiely
14th January, 2016
Researchers have expressed their outrage over an industry funded report claiming alcohol is not a cause of violence.
Nicki Jackson, of the University of Auckland, and professor Kypros Kypri, of the university of Newcastle, in Australia, have published a critique of the report today in the journal Addiction.
It comes in response to the 2015 report Understanding Behaviour in the Australian and New Zealand Night-Time Economies, by British anthropologist Dr Anne Fox.
Alcohol firm Lion Pty Ltd commissioned Fox’s report, which argued alcohol does not cause violence, but actually beliefs about acceptable behaviour when consuming alcohol were at fault.
Fox recommended educating children about proper behaviour when drinking, teaching parents how to talk to their children about alcohol and informing the public about acceptable drinking behaviour through media campaigns.
In response, Jackson said: “These types of recommended approaches may modify a person’s knowledge or attitude, but rarely their behaviour.
“The report is highly selective in the research used to support its recommendations. It fails to acknowledge the huge body of evidence concerning effective strategies for reducing violence, such as earlier cessation of sales in licensed premises.”
Kypri accused the alcohol industry of using the report to “overturn licensing decisions” influence “submissions on public policy”.
“Despite failing to meet even basic standards of research the report cannot be ignored, because the findings are being used by the alcohol industry to overturn licensing decisions and in submissions on public policy,” he said.
“We believe this was simply an effort by the alcohol industry to raise doubts about the existing evidence, which is strong.
“Employing ‘merchants of doubt’ is a strategy used by the fossil fuel industry to subvert science on global warming.
“This report should be viewed in the same way.”