French drinks producers slam anti-alcohol drug

22nd February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 21, 2006 (AFP) - French makers of alcoholic drinks Tuesday expressed dismay at the arrival on the national market of a new drug that claims drastically to reduce the level of alcohol in the blood of drinkers.

PARIS, Feb 21, 2006 (AFP) - French makers of alcoholic drinks Tuesday expressed dismay at the arrival on the national market of a new drug that claims drastically to reduce the level of alcohol in the blood of drinkers.

"The principle of the designated driver -- 'he who drives does not drink' -- is still the safest and best adapted way to handle drinking and driving, especially for young drivers," their association Enterprise and Prevention said in a statement.

Earlier this week it was revealed that a drug to slash alcohol levels in the blood, named Security Feel Better, was on sale in three French supermarket chains.

Manufactured in Normandy in northwest France it claims to reduce the level of alcohol in the blood three to six times faster than would occur naturally.

Based on a "secret formula" and "tasting of pear" Security Feel Better is said to have been developed by two researchers in the western region of Brittany.

"A business meal or an evening at the discotheque: too much to drink? Too much to eat?" says an advertisement for the product.

"Take the right steps to avoid a hangover and get rid more quickly of the food and drink, alcohol included."

The drug has been on sale by correspondence and over the Internet.

Experts in fighting alcoholism have derided the drug, saying it is basically sugar which will help speed up the breakdown of alcohol and delay its passage into the bloodstream: at best a "hype", at worst a "dangerous product."

"It could increase by 10 to 20 percent the speed of alcohol elimination," specialist Dr Michel Craplet at a hospital near Paris told AFP.

"What is dangerous is letting people believe a miracle product has been discovered and you can drink without risk," he said.

"It isn't so much the product that is dangerous as the publicity surrounding it."

One of the supermarket chains named said Tuesday it had pulled the product, which costs 4.95 euros (5.90 dollars) for two three centilitre vials, from the shelves of the only store where it had been on sale, in a market test.

A second chain said the drug was only on sale in Normandy and not nationwide. The third said it had no record of the product.

The alcohol producers' association fears that the drug sends the wrong signal, suggesting to motorists they can now drink and drive.

"It isn't responsible to suggest you can drink as much alcohol as you want and then climb behind the wheel," said association director-general Alexis Capitant.

"Promoting such products sends a very negative signal just as the work of getting the wider public to appreciate the danger of drink-driving is starting to bear fruit."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article