Alcohol guidelines revised: The Department of Health and equivalents in Scotland and Wales have published revised Chief Medical Officer guidelines for the consumption of Alcohol. The revised guidelines reduce the recommended maximum level of weekly consumption from 21 to 14 units and suggest that there should be several alcohol free days each week. In addition a consultation has been issued as to whether there should be recommendations regarding single episodes of drinking – closing date 1 April. Industry bodies have criticised the new guidelines on the basis that the total consumption level for men is lower than in most countries of the world and most countries do not set the same limit for men and women, highlighting also that consumption is steadily falling. The guidelines do not include transitional periods for the updating of advertising or packaging.
Part of the justification for revision of the guidelines is given as a report of a Department of Health Committee on Carcinogenicity. View >
The Local Government Association has also issued a call for calorie information to be mandatory on the labels of alcoholic products. View >
The EU Commission has also published a study on tackling youth alcohol consumption.
Campaign to reduce sugar consumption launched: Public Health England has renewed its campaign aiming to reduce sugar intake by children, highlighting that consumption is currently at three times recommended levels. A video has been produced and an app launched equating sugar levels to sugar cubes (apparently representing 4g sugar). Speculation and comment continues as to a potential sugar tax being included in the Government Childhood Obesity strategy apparently due for publication in Feb. View > British Heart Foundation >
Revised maximum residue levels in food: set for the following chemicals: bifenazate, boscalid, cyazofamid, cyromazine, dazomet, dithiocarbamates, fluazifop-P, mepanipyrim, metrafenone, picloram, propamocarb, pyridaben, pyriofenone, sulfoxaflor, tebuconazole, tebufenpyrad and thiram. View >
Responsibility for fire moves to Home Office: Responsibility for fire and rescue Services in England has been transferred from the Department of Communities and Local Government to the Home Office, with the intention that fire and rescue services will fall within the remit of locally elected Police and Crime Commissioners. View >
Consultation outcome on manufacture and sale of tobacco published: The Department of Health has published its response ahead of implementation of regulations on eCigarettes and herbal products to implement EU requirements due in force 20 May 2016.