‘The Risk Increases with Every Drink You Take’: Medical Association Calls for Cancer Warning Labels on Liquor Bottles
Alcohol has been linked to cancer. The sentence seems like an obvious statement — since it feels like everything has been linked to cancer in one study or another — but what some don’t know is that booze is a Level 1 carcinogen akin to tobacco and asbestos. So now, the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research is urging spirits industry leaders to add warning labels to alcohol.
No amount is completely safe. “Even drinking one drink a day increases your risk of some cancers including, if you’re a woman, breast cancer. But also cancers of the digestive system, and the risk increases with every drink you take,” said Tim Stockwell, a senior scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria.
According to Science Daily and Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH, from the Department of Medicine at BUSM: “The relationship between alcohol and cancer is strong, but is not widely appreciated by the public and remains underemphasized even by physicians, Alcohol is a big preventable cancer risk factor that has been hiding in plain sight.”
However, the spirits industry is fighting back by saying the information about alcohol causing cancer is alarmist and misleading. The Yukon territory where the labels were being tested, could not afford a lengthy legal battle, so the labels that were initially placed on bottles were pulled.
It’s clear that since cancer is bad for business, we can’t expect warning labels on bottles in Canada any time soon.
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