In a speech to the UK Faculty of Public Health's annual conference, health secretary Andrew Lansley hinted the government wanted to bring alcohol misuse under the remit of Change4Life. He announced a cut in funding for the initiative and called on the industry to help finance it (The Grocer, 10 July). Anne Milton, under secretary of state for public health, confirmed the plans at the Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum seminar on alcohol the same week.
"We believe the next stage for Change4Life, to become a genuine social movement, is one backed by everyone, and we're looking to include the alcohol industry," she said. "The idea of partnership also informs our vision for alcohol policy across government." How this plan would dovetail with organisations such as Drinkaware, already funded by the drinks industry, has yet to be finetuned, the DH confirmed.
WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles questioned the plan, as Drinkaware was "working". "I would be wary if Change4Life set out to take on and duplicate this work," he added.
Drinkaware chief executive Chris Sorek was more guarded. "We're looking forward to speaking with the government, and talking about how we can help deliver a reduction in harm caused by alcohol misuse."