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One Glass Of Wine A Day Increases Cancer By 168 Per Cent Say French Government

Posted Feb 20 2009 6:31pm

President Sarkozy and his French Government have made a recent and rather unpopular announcement of a new campaign that advises the French people to do the unthinkable - stop drinking wine.

The Ministry of Health has outraged the drinks industry and many die-hard vino fans alike when they chose to target alcohol as the biggest offender in causing cancer.

The National Cancer Institute (INCA) compiled results which informed the guidelines of the new campaign, saying “ The consumption of alcohol, and especially wine, is discouraged,” The brochure goes on to scare monger by stating that as little as one glass of wine per day increases the risk of cancer by 168 per cent.

What about the revelations in the 80s when experts told us one glass one wine a day with all its antioxidants was good for us? Those days are gone say the French, “Small daily doses of alcohol are the most harmful. There is no amount, however small, which is good for you,” said Dominique Maraninchi, INCA’s president. Oh dear.

Of course in other countries we are used to hearing that minimising alcohol consumption is vital to keep healthy, but for the Government of a country where wine is practically like air to tell its people to stop drinking altogether, is really rather concerning indeed.

The bright looking Government brochure does not read quite so brightly. The INCA took on the mammoth task os collating information from hundreds of studies, concentrating on the link between cancer and food, drink and lifestyle. In addition to wine the most harmful products are red meat, charcuterie and salt. The literature reads, “The risk of colon-rectal cancer rises by 29 per cent per 100-gramme portion of red meat per day and 21 per cent per 50-gramme portion of charcuterie.”

The guidelines also point out that consumption of alcohol increases the risk of mouth, larynx, oesophagus, colon-rec-tum and breast cancers.

Wine producers across the country are crying bloody murder, claiming the Government is attempting to destroy France’s heritage. They also find it more than coincidental that Sarkozy is the country’s first teetotal President, quaffing back soft drinks while his compatriots around him indulge on France’s finest vintages.

The General Association of Wine Producers said, “This persecution of wine has to stop.” They insist INCA’s findings contradict a World Health Organisation study that proved drinking a small amount of wine actually helped to decrease the risk of cancer.

President of the wine producer’s association in the southwestern Languedoc region, Xavier de Volontat said, “The extremists must not be allowed to take consumers hostage . . . Wine consumption has dropped by 50 per cent over the last 20 years in France but cancer has increased. You have to admit, that’s a paradox.”

“We never said that alcohol is not dangerous for health,” Mr de Volontat said. “We are for responsible, reasonable and moderate consumption . . . It is not in our interest to see our consumers dying of cancer or in car accidents.”

Vintage statistics

- 60 litres of wine consumed per head in France in 1997

- 56 litres of wine consumed per head in 2005

- 2 per cent decrease in the sale of wine in France in 2007 (by volume)

- 1 per cent decline in sales (by value)

- 2,134 acres of land estimated to be used for vineyards across France

- 5 million litres: the amount of wine estimated to be produced by France annually

- 34 per cent of the world wine market is made up of French exports

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