Alcohol Action urge all Irish MEPs to support citizens’ Right to Know in crucial vote before European Parliament.

Today (Tuesday, 15th February) the European Parliament will debate and vote on the Report of the Special Committee on Beating Cancer Plan, which was agreed in its final session, last December.

This Report advances the strategic initiative of the von der Leyen Commission to establish a Beating Cancer strategy and sets out a new EU approach to cancer prevention, treatment and care.

Significantly, the bold Plan, and the Report published by the Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer, recognise the best advice of both the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) and the WHO Europe, that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption when comes to cancer prevention. It also proposes modest measures that would ensure that citizens are afforded the right to know the inherent health risk with alcohol use.

Such a principle lies at the heart of the labelling provisions in Ireland’s Public Health Alcohol Act 2018, but which remain dormant awaiting a ministerial commencement order.

Crucially, a number of amendments have now been proposed by a variety of MEP alliances, including a number co-signed by Sean Kelly (Ireland South | FG – EPP), in order to, in our view, weaken the Report’s language on prevention and stall significant mandatory recommendations such as Health Warning labels to alcoholic beverages.

Consumers have a Right To Know the risk and to ensure informed decisions can be made.

For MEPs to propose amendments (No’s 35, 36: co-signed by Sean Kelly, Ireland South | FG -EPP) that would deny citizens such information is deeply regrettable and must be rejected by Parliament in its debate today and final vote tomorrow (16th).

We call on all Irish MEPs to resist the intense lobbying of the alcohol industry that has fashioned such a unique alliance of cross-party endeavour and instead, stand with citizens and the universal principle of a right to know.