News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Researcher objects to drinks industry representative sitting on alcohol research body

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 08 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:71
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    A researcher working on alcohol dependence has criticised the appointment of the chief executive of a lobby group funded by the drinks industry to the United Kingdom's Alcohol Education and Research Council (AERC) because he fears a potential conflict of interest.

    Professor Robin Room, a professor at the University of Stockholm and director of the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs in Stockholm, Sweden, was concerned by the recent appointment of Jean Coussins, chief executive of the Portman Group. The group was set up in 1989 by UK drinks producers, and its main aim was “to promote responsible drinking.” Ms Coussins was appointed by the secretary of state for culture, the government department that oversees the work of the AERC.

    The AERC aims to increase awareness of alcohol issues, facilitate a reduction in alcohol related harm in society, and …

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