Friday, 15 March 2013

Canadian Minimum Alcohol Pricing Evidence Fails The Laugh Test

As the debate rages on about minimum alcohol pricing - well, I say debate, it's more accurately described as mendacious rhetoric from a collection of of highly-paid vested interests who refuse debate - there is one thing that is becoming clear as crystal.

One of the globe's most prominent advocates simply cannot be trusted as a source of 'evidence'..

Canadian Dr Tim Stockwell has already been caught lying with statistics to a credulous BBC; exposed as producing studies which only use data which agree with his pre-determined conclusions; and seen his 'availability theory' rubbished by his own profession.

 The criticism just keeps on coming, though.

George Mason University conclude that his methods "raise more questions than answers".
So while there seems to be an overall trend of decreased death with increased prices, the failure to account for multiple testing means there could be true correlation (note, not causation - DP) or there could be just a statistical fluke.
While Forbes comments.
It is not uncharitable to say the Canadian study is confusing, and it is not unwarranted to say its findings might be the result of chance as a real correlation. This means the certainty reported in the media and by other scientists is misleading.
In other words, whenever you hear some anti-alcohol blowhard burble about "evidence from Canada says ...", they are talking about the work of a proven manipulator of statistics whose results - however hard he may try - fail to reach past the level of vague coincidence.

This is how far the public health industry has sunk. Pasteur would weep into his milk if he could see their antics.

H/T Crampton


sillyusername said...

You will note than none of the advocates of this policy are willing to point to the Scandinavian experience. Here alcohol taxes and prices are high, access is strictly age restricted and there are a limited number of outlets. There is a lot of anti alcohol propaganda aimed at the young and no end of religious organisations pushing the temperance agenda.
Alcohol consumption per head of population is NOT significantly lower than elsewhere (even using fiddled official figures).
The consumption of illegally produced or sourced and therefore dangerous alcohol is high.
Mortality associated with alcohol is not lower than elsewhere.
Youth drinking is not lower than elsewhere.

The strategies being advocated do not work, have never worked and are never going to work.

Dr. Eugene X said...

Would it be OK to say that all those actions increasingly look to many of us like imposition of religious laws via 'public policies'?
Sorry, meant to say re-introduction. Now, this angle, you may want to pursue or not, it is entirely up to you. Otherwise, excellent blogging as usual, keep up the good work.