Deep Thinkers Put Their Heads Together on Global Alcohol Policy
Sometimes important, deep thinkers and important organizations say things or make recommendations that are completely ignored. That’s often a bad thing. But sometimes it’s a good thing, especially if the thing being said or recommended is so crazy it deserves to be ignored.
Enter the World Health Organization, a pretty serious organization.
To quote from their Draft Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030:
“Appropriate attention should be given to the prevention of the initiation of drinking among children and adolescents, prevention of drinking among pregnant women and women of childbearing age”
There has been some discussion in the media and among a number of health researchers of WHO’s apparent recommendation that women between 16 and 50 refrain from drinking alcohol. But not much attention has been paid by rank and file drinkers and the alcohol trade.
Maybe the reason not too much attention has been paid to this recommendation that women of child-bearing age not drink at all is that folks took the WHO’s recommendation and gave “appropriate attention” to the idea.
The other reason there has been little attention paid to this industry-killing suggestion by WHO, I think, is because no one believes any country is going to stand by this kind of recommendation and ask their women of childbearing age to stop drinking. On the one hand, the recommendation would not be followed. On the other hand, few government officials in charge of speaking from a bully pulpit of any size want to be caught appearing so utterly insane.
I’m not sure what the mandate is of the WHO, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t to appear more stupid than Holocaust deniers and contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. However, it is impressive that, in today’s politically polarized world, the WHO could succeed in uniting everyone on the political spectrum.
Granted this is the “first draft” of the WHO’s Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030. It will go through some revision before the final Plan is officially released to the world. But you have to have a really incurious mind to not wish you were in the room when some member of some WHO committee first voiced the idea that, “I think the plan should recommend global abstention from alcohol for the majority of women on the earth.”
It’s not because you want to hear how this idea was broached in that committee. You want to have been in that room to see what the other participants’ faces looked liked as they responded with, “Hey, that’s a good idea!”