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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Dying to Drink" - Big Alcohol

"Dying to Drink: Confronting Binge Drinking on College Campuses", by Henry Wechsler, Director, Harvard School of Public Health, College Alcohol Study, and Bernice Wuethrich, Rodale2002.

   Wechsler's book is frequently referred to in the college alcohol literature. He notes that "Big Alcohol" - the alcohol industry is a powerful force impacting the issue of college drinking. The alcohol industry is a "$110 billion-a-year industry" (p132).  Wechsler notes that "Several major trade associations work nonstop to influence lawmakers and public opinion:
  • The Beer Institute...operates on annual budget of about $2 million.
  • The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA)- ...In 2001, Fortune magazine voted it one of the top-ten most effective lobbying groups on Capitol Hill.
  • The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS)-..employs forty-five people and has a budget of $7.5 million.
  • The Wine Institute.. operates a $6.5 million budget. It has satellite offices in seven other cities and lobbyists in more than forty states.
  • The American Beverage Institute- represents restaurant owners who serve alcohol, including both independent operators and some of America's largest restaurant chains.
  • National Licensed Beverage Association ...It represents more than sixteen thousand bar, tavern, restaurant, and package-store owners across the United States.  (p126-127) "
"One reason Big Alcohol can seem so untouchable is its tie-in to other economic sectors: Dining, travel, entertainment, and gambling all  rely on alcohol sales to increase their margins of profit.  And key indrutry players are very much aware of the need for a united front"

One has to wonder what role does "Big Alcohol" play at JMU?

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