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Good Luck Getting This Passed

Alcohol is addictive. It impairs your senses. It affects your behavior. Why is it socially acceptable when it's no better than any other drug we're "waging war" on?

When considering the world's worst killers, alcohol likely doesn't come to mind. Yet alcohol kills more than 2.5 million people annually, more than AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis.

For middle-income people, who constitute half the world's population, alcohol is the top health risk factor, greater than obesity, inactivity and even tobacco.


In a commentary appearing today (Feb. 15) in the journal Nature, [Devi Sridhar, a health-policy expert at the University of Cambridge] argues that the WHO should regulate alcohol at the global level, enforcing such regulations as a minimum drinking age, zero-tolerance drunken driving, and bans on unlimited drink specials. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.) Abiding by the regulations would be mandatory for the WHO's 194 member states.

"Countries are aware of the problem, but several haven't made a real commitment to implementing the recommendations," Sridhar told LiveScience. "The problem is not with ministries of health but with ministries of finance, trade, etc. who prioritize other interests first."


And that's precisely why you'll never see such a regulation put in place. Financial interests trump everything. Imagine all the ad revenue sports events would lose. What's a few million deaths compared to that? Without alcohol, they might have died early anyway. At least this way, we're making the most of what we can from their brief time here.

By min | February 16, 2012, 1:03 PM | Liberal Outrage