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AAP recommends ad ban; BI responds.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a recommendation to prohibit beer advertising. The Beer Institute responded for the brewing industry, and BI president Ray McGrath said, "[the recommendation] is based on a complete lack of empirical evidence and provides no real solutions to problems affecting our nation's children."

McGrath said, that while "The American Academy of Pediatrics has a right to its opinion...it should stick to the facts in supporting those opinions. The policy statement issued by the Academy is based on so-called studies that are outdated and purely biased - driven by agendas of anti-alcohol groups without the facts to support them."

McGrath said that "apparently the Academy did not take time to do its homework." He noted that, while alcohol advertising has increased dramatically over the past twenty years, this seems to have little effect on consumption, and cited several examples:

* "underage drinking is at its lowest point in over a decade"

* "According to a University of Michigan survey, high school seniors classified as "current drinkers" are down by 30% and the percentage of seniors who drank daily is down 64%"

* "Study after study has been performed with the same conclusion: The overwhelming consensus is that there is no evidence that beer advertising encourages people - young or old - to consumer or abuse alcohol."

* "Beer advertising and marketing activities are intended for adults of legal drinking age who choose to drink in a responsible and appropriate manner. They allow brewers to compete for market share; they are not targeted at children or young people, nor is there evidence that they affect young people."

McGrath said that all alcohol abuse indicators have been on a steady decline for over ten years. "Unfortunately, the AAP recommendations do not reflect the high standard of academic research that we expect from such a prestigious group," he said. "Clearly, flawed information was used to support the recommendation, which is disturbing.

"It is the facts, and the facts alone," he said, "that should form the basis for any public policy decision."
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Title Annotation:American Academy of Pediatrics; Beer Institute
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Feb 20, 1995
Words:337
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