Wine in Moderation at the European Parliament

Recognised for its contribution in reducing alcohol-related harm, Wine in Moderation was invited to present the social responsibility actions of the wine sector in the European Parliament in Brussels on 29 November 2017.

Initiated by MEP Aldo Patriciello, and with the support of the research centre Neuromed, the event “Moderate alcohol consumption within a balanced lifestyle” aimed at presenting the latest scientific information on wine, health and social aspects and the link between the moderate consumption of wine and health.

"We speak in very alarming terms," said Giovanni de Gaetano, Director of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention of I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed of Pozzilli (IS), moderator of the conference “- often confusing moderate and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. However, we know that when linked to meals, conviviality, and a healthy lifestyle, moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages has positive, well-documented effects on cardiovascular disease and mortality for any cause. The link between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and cancer is much debated, but studies available do not adequately reflect the whole lifestyle followed by people. If alcohol accompanies poor nutrition, including smoking, poor physical activity, we find many elements that interact. Much research is still to be done in this regard.”*

In a full room, George Sandeman President of the not-for profit WiM Association, the international coordinator of Wine in Moderation, presented the significant evolution of the programme through the years, but also the importance of education and the culture of wine to encourage the moderate and responsible consumption of the latter.

We are thankful for the opportunity given by the European Parliament to present our efforts” mentioned George Sandeman “and will continue working hard to inform and educate consumers and professionals on moderate and responsible consumption patterns”.

Eminent members of the European Parliament, senior policy makers expressed their interest on the scientific evidence presented by the scientists present demonstrating the link between moderate and responsible drinking patterns and a healthy lifestyle. They also welcomed the initiatives presented to encourage moderation and responsibility.

In an intervention, MEP Herbert Dorfmann, Chair of the Wine Intergroup, alerted the participant about the extreme approaches followed by a number of actors which goes beyond reducing alcohol-related harm and actually attacking the product and its culture.

MEP Patriciello and his guests closed the meeting recognising the value of such meetings and the need to repeat them on an annual basis.

The European Parliament’s vote of confidence to Wine in Moderation goes a long way. In a report on the “European gastronomic heritage: cultural and educational aspects” (2013/2181(INI)), issued on 19 February 2014, the European Parliament “welcomed initiatives such as the ‘slow food’ movement, which helps to engender general public appreciation of the social and cultural importance of food, and the ‘Wine in Moderation’ initiative, which promotes a lifestyle and a level of alcohol consumption associated with moderation.

* translated from italian: "Si parla in termini molto allarmistici – ha detto Giovanni de Gaetano, Direttore del Dipartimento di Epidemiologia e Prevenzione dell’I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed di Pozzilli (IS), moderatore del convegno – confondendo spesso il consumo moderato e quello eccessivo. Sappiamo però che un consumo moderato, legato al pasto, alla convivialità della tavola, ad una vita sana, ha effetti positivi, ben documentati, sulle patologie cardiovascolari e sulla mortalità per qualsiasi causa. E’ molto dibattuto il legame possibile tra consumo di alcol e cancro, ma gli studi disponibili non tengono conto in modo adeguato dell’intero stile di vita seguito dalle persone. Se l’alcol si accompagna a una cattiva alimentazione, magari al fumo, alla scarsa attività fisica, ci troviamo molti elementi che interagiscono. Molta ricerca è ancora da fare in questo senso".

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