Norwegian health authorities are recommending that all beverages and other products containing alcohol be slapped with warnings that they could cause cancer. The warnings would be similar to those that have long dominated packs of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The state health directorate recently sent its recommendation to the health ministry, claiming that it’s time to publicize links between consumption of alcohol and both cancer and heart disease. “A large portion of the population has no knowledge of the connection between more moderate use of alcohol and cancer,” the directorate wrote in its more than 30-page recommendation.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the authorities view cancer warnings as an important means of promoting public health and preventing serious illness. “We now know that there’s no lower, safe level for alcohol consumption, and that increased consumption increases the risk of illness, especially cancer risk,” Linda Grandlund of the directorate told NRK.
The warnings would be placed on the main labels of all bottles or cans. It hasn’t yet been formulated. Norway’s main business organization representing the food and beverage industry (NHO Mat of Drikke) is skeptical, claiming such warnings are already under consideration by the EU and there’s no need for Norway to come up with its own.