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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Industry Use of Evidence to Influence Alcohol Policy: A Case Study of Submissions to the 2008 Scottish Government Consultation


Summary Points

  • We examine how research evidence is used in alcohol industry submissions made to a Scottish Government consultation in 2008 to advocate policies in line with their commercial interests.
  • Industry actors consistently oppose the approaches found in research to be most likely to be effective at a population level without actually engaging with the research literature in any depth.
  • Strong evidence is misrepresented and weak evidence is promoted. Unsubstantiated claims are made about the adverse effects of unfavoured policy proposals and advocacy of policies favoured by industry is not supported by the presentation of evidence.
  • The potential for corporations with vested interests to interfere with the evaluation of scientific evidence by policy makers needs to be restricted for effective policies to be designed.
  • Studies of the nature of alcohol industry and other corporate influences on public policies can be informed by work already conducted on the tobacco industry.

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