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Posted: Friday, 25 February 2022 23:05


EU Parliament rejects Cancer Warning Printing on Wine Bottles

Feb 25: The European Parliament has refused to print cancer warnings on wine bottles with the parliamentarians calling the health warning 'senseless', and have refused to inform consumers about the link between cancer and wine drinking, rues Palaki Sharma, an Anchor on the TV Channel WION. Subhash Arora writes about the half-baked information from the Channel calling it ‘Science’ and suggests they study various Research Reports in the last 30 years, many of which have been reported in www.indianwineacademy.com in the Wine and Health section, and approves of the Drinking in Moderation to be affixed on the labels

EU Parliament rejects to print Cancer Warning on Wine BottlesIs Wine harmful? The European Parliament weighed in last Friday and defended it as a healthy product and a part of the Mediterranean diet, which is not digestible to WION, the international channel owned by Zee. In a Report, the anchor, Palaki Sharma claims through the script on the teleprompter that the Channel had always told its viewers that a glass of wine was not fine; it could cause cancer and kill you.

However, the European Union Parliament had discussed and debated the issue last Friday and opposed the suggestion by a Special Committee on Beating Cancer which wanted the label ‘alcohol is harmful for health and causes cancer’ to be affixed. It suggested and adopted instead a more innocuous sounding slogan that Drinking should be in Moderation. ( In fact, there is already an organisation called Wine in Moderation www.wineinmoderation.com in Brussels which has affiliations in 15 countries, doing just that and educating different organisations-editor).

Studies link cancer to alcohol consumption, claims WION. 10% of all deaths in men and 3% deaths of women are linked to alcohol consumption (what she means really is excessive consumption of alcohol in general). She says that 64% of wine is made in the European Union, with 45% of the total growing area. EU residents alone consume 48% of the world wine consumption, she says, mentioning the figure of $147.5 billion as the total wine business of the EU. Wine is, in fact, its largest agro-food export.

The Channel chided the parliamentarians who have chosen greed over the health of its citizens. Three MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) are quoted as saying in a ‘Victory Statement’ that they have managed to get rid of the ‘senseless recommendation to put Health Warnings on wine bottles like they do on the packets of cigarettes. Apparently the WION channel believes that putting these labels would be educative for the buyers and they would consume less wine. It is a matter of record that despite such warnings and steady increase in taxes, the sale has, at least in India, continued to grow and despite the undeniable knowledge (Science) that cigarette smoking causes cancer EU Parliament rejects to print Cancer Warning on Wine Bottlesand most public places and restaurants banning their uses, smokers continue to consume more.

Palaki Sharma takes the cake when she says, ‘the EU Parliamentarians have rejected the theory that a glass of wine is not fine; even a sip is not fine. This is what Science says; Science is pushing for this awareness. Factually, there have been hundreds of studies done since the 1990s when the Research showed that red wine was a part of the Mediterranean diet and wine in moderation was good for health. Undoubtedly, many of these studies of late have been less credible due to their lucrative source of funding which is generally not disclosed.

In general, there has been a consensus that wine drinking in moderation is good for health.  It has been consumed for centuries in Europe and now in Australia and the US. There is a lot of culture and history associated with it. Several books have been written by doctors, philosophers and Statesmen who have sung songs about wine drinking in moderation and health. Palaki wonders what would happen to ‘wine and cheese’ in Italy if there were no wine! She does not mention that wine and cheese has been a way of life in most of the European countries including France, Spain, Switzerland-besides Italy and that it is an integral part of food. In fact, they consider it a food product and NOT liquor, WION has apparently fallen into the same trap as many other wine-illiterates.

Julia Iverson being felicitated by family and friends on her 108th birthday. She credits longevity to red wineDoctors are aware of the possibility of small increase in cancer caused, especially breast cancer and recommend a regular usage of folates that neutralises any probability of getting cancer. Incidentally, there have been some studies that claim wine reduces the probability of various cancers.

She fails to expound on how Science has determined the harmful effects. For the last 4 decades, there have been medical studies; every study in its footnote, states that more studies are needed to prove or disprove their findings. This also included the hundreds of studies that have linked wine with health- a few of them recently have even gone to the extent of claiming that wine protects against Covid!! So these studies are Science too. In fact, it would be curious to know if people would have liked producers or mention on the label, ‘Alcohol drinking prevents/cures Covid’.

We await another segment on Wine and Covid from the WION Channel and Palaki Sharma both of which are otherwise favourite of mine- over a glass of wine.

Meanwhile, here is a toast to Julia Iverson, a British National who has recently thrown a party in Warrington (Cheshire), in the middle of Manchester and Liverpool for her108th birthday. She says a daily glass of red wine is the secret to her long life and claims she always knows if glasses of her favourite red wine have been watered down. Fortunately, she has had no cancer but survived two bouts of Corona, according to a report in BBC today.

Subhash Arora

DelWine continues to recommend up to 2 glasses of wine for men and 1 glass of wine for women, preferably red and preferably with food, 5 days a week. But please take medical advice from your doctor for any comorbidities- editor



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