Alcohol policy

The government's attempts to create a public health agreement on drinking were under pressure this morning as leading public health organisations denounced the plans.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley forged a deal with the drinks industry, which agreed to voluntary measures on labelling and advertising.

The full details of the agreement are expected to be announced later this week, including proposals on under-age drinking and labelling unit content on 80% of products.

But six leading medical health bodies, including the British Medical Association, Alcohol Concern and the Royal College of Physicians said the plans had no consequences if producers did not toe the government line.

Pricing is not included in the agreement - an omission that the organisations said would make the plans ineffective because they do not tackle cut-price drinks.

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