Researchers call for Government action on alcohol harm as up to 3000 babies born with alcohol-related brain damage a year

TVNZ One News 27 July 2018
Otago University researchers are calling for government action on reducing alcohol-related harm, as a new study shows a large number of New Zealand women drink alcohol during pregnancy despite evidence of potential harm to their babies.

Professor of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine Doug Sellman and Chair of Preventive and Social Medicine, Professor Jennie Connor, ask in the New Zealand Medical Journal today, “Why is alcohol in the government’s ‘too hard basket’?”
They write that for government to leave alcohol control in the too-hard basket, often labelled as “not our first priority”, suggests there is a substantial unnamed barrier to action.
“In utero alcohol-induced brain damage is a ‘preventable tragedy’, but active prevention measures by government have been sorely lacking,” Professors Sellman and Connor say.
“The health, social and economic benefits of drinking less – for the country and for individuals – are clear. Don’t we deserve to know why we can’t have them?”


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