Researchers: Claim alcohol doesn't cause violence 'appalling'

Researchers: Claim alcohol doesn't cause violence 'appalling'

Two university researchers are "appalled" at an alcohol industry funded report which claims alcohol is not a cause of violence.

Researchers Nicki Jackson from the University of Auckland and Professor Kypros Kypri from the University of Newcastle in Australia, have published a critique of the report today in the journal Addiction.

The original report, published last year by British anthropologist Dr Anne Fox, says alcohol consumption was not a cause of violence, but instead, beliefs regarding acceptable behaviour when drinking were to blame.

Dr Fox recommended children were educated regarding proper behaviour when drinking, parents were taught how to talk to their children about alcohol, and the public educated about acceptable drinking behaviour via media campaigns.

"These types of recommended approaches may modify a person's knowledge or attitude, but rarely their behaviour," Ms Jackson says.

"The report is highly selective in the research used to support its recommendations. It fails to acknowledge the huge body of evidence concerning effective strategies for reducing violence, such as earlier cessation of sales in licensed premises," she says.

Prof Kypri says the report cannot be ignored because the findings are being used by the alcohol industry to overturn licensing decisions and in public policy submissions.

"We believe this was simply an effort by the alcohol industry to raise doubts about the existing evidence, which is strong," he says.

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