DrinkWise Australia says criticisms by an alcohol research body of its initiatives to educate women about not drinking while pregnant are unfounded.
In response to a submission today by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) to the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), DrinkWise Australia has taken significant steps to educate people that it is safest not to drink while pregnant. We are pleased that the alcohol industry has been able to work with us on the labelling initiative.
“The facts are that in 2011 DrinkWise Australia introduced a series of consumer information messages for inclusion on alcohol labels on issues of alcohol consumption,” said DrinkWise Australia Chair, the Hon. Trish Worth.
“These include both images and messaging aimed at women that it is safest not to drink while pregnant. The labels are designed to get people talking about such issues and include a pointer to our ‘get the facts drinkwise.org.au’ website where issues are explored more fully.”
Contrary to the claims of FARE, DrinkWise Australia has a fact sheet on its website titled ‘Alcohol and pregnancy’ that specifically details the issues of FASD.
“We welcome full and frank discussion and debate on important issues such as FASD, and would prefer to work with organisations such as FARE to progress the cause,” said Ms Worth.
“It is an unfortunate claim by FARE that DrinkWise has in any way suggested that FASD is not a problem in Australia, which it clearly is.”
A copy of DrinkWise’s letter to members of the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs is attached, as is a DrinkWise fact sheet highlighting the risks of women drinking while pregnant.
DrinkWise Australia is a not-for-profit social change organisation dedicated to promoting a healthier and safer drinking culture in Australia. It does this through national information and education campaigns, partnerships with community leaders and organisations, and the development of practical strategies and resources that better support the community in relation to alcohol use and misuse.
Media contact: Kieran Hall on 0422 147 151.