Alcohol company bankrolls health campaign to stop pregnant women drinking booze

£4 million to be given to midwives to help them tell expectant mothers to avoid drinking

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A new campaign telling pregnant women to avoid alcohol is being backed by the world’s biggest spirits company.

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It seems each week there’s new advice directed at women about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy. Everything from the fact that alcohol could effect your unborn baby’s fertility, to research that said that mums-to-be who drink in pregnancy have better behaved children. But now Diageo, the business behind popular drinks brands Guinness, Smirnoff Ice and Baileys has pledged £4million so that midwives can lecture mums-to-be about the dangers of drinking while expecting a baby.

The programme will be run by the National Organisation on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome UK and will reach 10,000 midwives who, in turn, will advise at least one million pregnant women over the next three years.

The Government’s current advice to pregnant women regarding alcohol is that they should avoid it if possible, but that one or two units a week after the first trimester are ok. Although recent research suggests that mums-to-be shouldn’t drink any alcohol at all.

Diageo’s involvement in the campaign has brought concern from doctors with the British Medical Assocation saying it was concerned about, ‘the drinks industry funding health campaigns because there could be a conflict of interest in some cases.’

Medical experts are concerned that companies including KFC, Tesco and McDonald’s have been brought in to help public health policies. It’s all part of the Government’s responsibility deal that encourages business to get involved in helping to change behaviour.

What do you think? Should business be involved in your health?

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