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Government accused of cosying up to the drinks business

Controversy still abounds over minimum pricing on alcohol. This week health experts claimed that the Government's decision to ditch the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol maybe because they were cosying up to the drinks industry.

An investigation conducted by the British Medical Journal shows that ministers met drinks industry representatives to discuss alternative measures to minimum pricing at a time when the principle of this policy was not up for public debate. The BMJ said 'We call on the Government to stop dancing to the tune of the drinks industry and prioritize public health'.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), said this is a fundamentally flawed report which provides a one-sided view of the minimum unit pricing debate. Given the lack of evidence to show that minimum unit pricing would effectively tackle alcohol misuse the government was right not to introduce the policy.