Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Do as I say

The world is full of hectoring ninnys who take extreme pleasure in telling us what, and what not to do.

Every day for the last week I have recieved and invitation from a Dutch MEP Jules Maaten to join him and others to dicuss Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

The blurb that came with the invite included this
"Because there is no proven safe amount and no proven safe time for alcohol in pregnancy, pregnant women should abstain from alcohol. Although many pregnant women do so, there is still a substantial number of women in all the EU Member States who continue to drink – ranging from 25% in Spain to 35%-50% in the Netherlands and even higher rates in the UK or Ireland."
Now I know that if a pregnatnt women keeps on going out and getting blotto then she will harm her unborn child, that much is common sense, but these people want to ban women from haveing a glass of wine for the full term of the pregnancy.
Before they get the ban in place they plan to scare women with lurid tales of malformations viz this which they helpfully attached,

Characteristic Findings in Children Exposed to Alcohol in Utero

Characteristic facial anomalies
—Short palpebral fissures
—Flat midface
—Upturned nose
—Smooth philtrum
—Thin upper lip

Growth retardation
—Low relative birthweight
—Growth retardation despite adequate nutrition
—Low weight relative to height

CNS* neurodevelopmental defects
—Structural brain abnormalities, including agenesis of the corpus callosum and cerebellar hypoplasia
—Other neurologic signs, such as fine motor difficulties, sensorineural hearing loss, poor gait coordination, and poor eye-hand coordination

Unexplained behavioral abnormalities
—Learning disabilities
—Poor school performance
—Poor impulse control
—Problems with social perception
—Poor language abilities
—Poor abstract reasoning
—Poor math skills
—Impaired memory and judgment

Birth defects
Including but not limited to:
—Congenital heart defects
—Skeletal and limb deformities
—Anatomic renal abnormalities
—Ophthalmologic abnormalities
—Hearing loss
—Cleft lip or palate

Feeling guilty yet? Apart from the fact that if we add up those figures I am utterly syuprised to discover that if more than 50% of British women have a glass or two during pregnancy, and that there is no safe limit, how is it that only 1% have any trouble at all, and of that 1% even the FAS campaigners admit that they cannot explain - therefore do not know if things such as "poor school performance" can be put down to the booze. So alot of this is hooly and hectoring statist control freakery. What right do they have to scare the pants off a majority of women, in order to deal with a small but awful problem. None at all, but of course, they are lobbyists and legislators and they like nothing better to scare manipulate and bully people.
The chaps behind this, Eurocare make the following claim on their website,

"The European Union can no longer remain solely an economic union. It must become a social community where the collective health interest takes precedence over individual economic interests...

Alcohol is not just a marketable commodity like others. It is a toxic, psychotropic and dependence inducing drug. Its use must be publicly controlled.
The means of production, distribution, consumption and control of alcohol must be tackled at a European level."
Of course it will not suprise you to discover that this organisation is part funded by the European Commission which has commissioned a number of reports about how the EU should take over legislation in this area.

Nor will it suprise you to discover that the lunch discussion was accompanied by a decent quantity of bottles of fine French wine.


Tom Joad said...

"The means of production, distribution, consumption and control of alcohol must be tackled at a European level"

Best of luck with that then chaps.

Once smoking and drinking are completely banned, nobody will ever die. Then watch all the nursing homes fill up. I wonder what inventive way they will find to feed and house them all?

Elaib said...

It rather explains what Tippler is up to though, trying to co-ordinate the European consumption of Alcohol

The Aunt said...

I should point out that although this organisation is partially funded by taxpayers' funds, there are any number of other organisations supporting a range of views diametrically opposite each other on any one subject, providing their propounders submitted a credible proposal for funding which answered criteria in a call for proposals. Nothing if not ecumenical.