The drinks industry has dismissed two new reports calling for a minimum price on alcohol and called on the government to make tackling Britain's binge-boozing culture its priority.

A Royal College of Physicians report claimed forcing prices up to 50p per unit would allow supermarkets to reduce the prices of staple items such as fruit and veg. Families "had nothing to fear" from minimum pricing as the majority did not buy much alcohol and would be better off as a result, it added.

Meanwhile, a Sheffield University report, commissioned by the Scottish government, argued that a minimum price of 40p per unit would save the government £60m a year in crime and health bills.

Both sets of findings were greeted with derision by senior industry figures.

"The RCP report shows that doctors should restrict themselves to medical matters rather than stray into territory they know nothing about," said Gavin Partington, head of communications at the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. "It shows no understanding of the way the retail environment works and ignores the fact that fruit and veg are often discounted anyway."

The BRC claimed that minimum pricing would penalise the majority of consumers who drank responsibly, but would fail to stop problem drinkers from abusing booze.

"The price of alcohol is not the issue it's the person consuming it," said food director Andrew Opie. "Retailers are working with the Department of Health to promote responsible alcohol consumption and already provide on-pack unit labelling to help customers make more informed choices. The most effective way of tackling problem drinkers is changing the culture around alcohol."

The Scottish government is to include minimum pricing in its Alcohol Bill, which will be drawn up by the end of the year.

The WSTA said Sheffield University's research was based on data five years out of date, and that alcohol consumption in Scotland was already falling.