French Doctors Support Agnès Buzyn's Statements On Wine's Health Risks
Health officials in France have just published an open letter in the newspaper Le Figaro warning the public about the dangers of wine. In this letter, which loosely translates as "According to the Liver, Wine is Alcohol," doctors urge government officials to treat the wine industry with the same scrutiny as they would "harder" beverages like spirits.
This letter was inspired by recent comments France's Minister of Health and Solidarity Agnès Buzyn made on a France 2 radio program. In this interview, Buzyn told reporters she believed the French wine industry was misleading the public by listing their beverages as "soft alcohol." She went on to argue that wine is just as poisonous to the liver as other alcoholic beverages.
Addiction specialists who signed Le Figaro's letter said the government was putting the public at risk by not taking a tougher stance on France's wine industries. They pointed out that wine is one of the most powerful psychotropic drugs on the planet and is the second leading cause of preventable death in France. Academics also pointed out how overindulging in wine was linked to higher rates of domestic violence, suicide, and mental illnesses.
As expected, Agnès Buzyn has faced a great deal of opposition for her statements from the wine industry and the general public. Even French President Emmanuel Macron said he believes wine is a healthier option than other alcoholic beverages.
According to Macron, Buzyn's statements won't stop him from drinking his two daily glasses of wine with lunch and dinner. The president also told reporters he has no intention of changing the country's current restrictions on wine advertisements.
To counter the open letter in support of Buzyn, Le Figaro also published an article written by members of the French Academy of Wine. In their article, members of the wine industry argued that wine should be respected as one of the great symbols of French culture.
France both produces and consumes most of the world's wine. It's estimated that about 50,000 French people die every year due directly to alcohol.
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