irish alcohol label stating health concerns

In an article recently published in Meininger’s International titled WHO Shifts Its Alcohol Narratives and the Wine Industry Faces New Challenges it is discussed how the World Health Organization is now on a mission to attack the wine world similarly to how it assaulted the tobacco industry.  It seems that their newest goal is to make drinking alcohol socially less acceptable and this has me nervous. 

wine bottle with line through it

If you think about what has happened to the tobacco industry, this could be extremely detrimental to the wine industry. WHO approached smoking from a positive angle. They didn’t try to make it illegal, they just did everything they could to make people not want to smoke anymore. Or more appropriately made it so difficult to smoke that most people gave up trying. 

In order to protect the health of employees, California Labor Code Section 6404.5 prohibits smoking in the workplace. It is against the law to smoke in an enclosed space at a place of employment. Enclosed space includes lobbies, lounges, waiting areas, elevators, stairwells, and restrooms that are a structural part of the building. The California Retail Food Code Law prohibits employees smoking in food preparation areas. These laws were enacted to protect the food you eat and to protect the employees that serve you the food.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all in favor of these tobacco laws because I don’t smoke. However, smoking is very different than drinking wine.  You do not have “second hand wine” affecting someone else’s health. You don’t have alcohol odor finding its way into furniture, walls, or food impacting other people. 

In 2022, WHO created a document titled  “Turning down the alcohol flow” explaining their position that wine should be treated equally to smoking.  The recommendations included a ban on alcohol advertising, and increasing the restrictions on where alcohol can be sold where there can be a range of ages attending, such as sporting events. 

As with everything in this world, stats are used to say what they want to say. A study in the Lancet Medical Journal was used to justify the WHO targeting alcohol consumption. The study, which was performed in 2020, estimated that over 1.3 billion people consumed harmful amounts of alcohol. We already know alcohol intake increase during the pandemic. My question is, where is the research pre-pandemic or even today’s statistics?

Although there are plenty of studies that say that moderate alcohol consumption is actually beneficial, the Lancet pointed out that “although alcohol in moderation might be good for some people with some conditions, drinking might still put them at risk for one of the seven alcohol-related cancers.”

Some countries see the writing on the wall and are already taking action. Ireland has dictated that beginning in 2026, all alcohol must be labeled to show calorie content. My issues with calorie count aside (that’s a whole other rant) they are also requiring producers to display warnings that there is a direct link between alcohol and liver disease and cancer.  

irish alcohol label stating health concerns

It all comes down to moderation. Anything can be dangerous if you overdo it. Where are the people screaming about moderation of vitamins. Yes! You can overdose on certain vitamins.  The fat soluble vitamins such as A, D and E have been proven to cause nausea, irregular heartbeat, organ damage and hemorrhages. In extreme cases they have even been responsible for death. At what point did we lose the right to choose for ourselves what we deem is right for us as an individual? 

We already have “According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery and may cause health problems.” Yet we have people who operate a car when they are drunk. You can’t fix stupid, so don’t try to lump everyone together and make it difficult to enjoy alcohol in moderation. What are your thoughts on regulation of alcohol?

bad vs good


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