Archived News: May to June 2020

Daniel Z (9 July 2020) Audio RN Drive Australia – Woman living with FASD joins nationals calls for stronger pregnancy warnings on alcohol labels

Liotta, M (29 June 2020) Better pregnancy health labels on alcohol a ‘whole-of-community issue’ Healthcare organisations and individuals around Australia are calling for clear and consistent labelling to expand harm-minimisation strategies. NewsGP

Mirage News (26 June 2020) Commission evidence to FASD Inquiry. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar, spoke of the connection between trauma and alcohol consumption by pregnant mothers, which can lead to FASD. “First Nations peoples suffer ongoing and unresolved trauma across generations due to the impact of colonisation and its ongoing legacies which include the continuation of discriminatory policies and practices,” said Commissioner Oscar. The Commissioner noted that while alcohol consumption in Indigenous women is lower than the general population, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who do drink during pregnancy are more likely to drink at levels which significantly increase the risk of FASD. “As a result, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have a higher prevalence of FASD than the general population.”

Resounding yes to message on a bottle – global study finds broad support for alcohol warning labels (19 June 2020) Simone Pettigrew from the George Institute commented on the research findings from a 7 countries – 68 percent of Australians and 67 percent of New Zealanders surveyed are in favour – come at a critical time, with Australian and New Zealand Health and Food Ministers shortly to vote on recommendations by independent authority Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to introduce long-awaited alcohol warning labels.

Dana McCauley Minister met with alcohol lobby before pregnancy warning label sent back for review. (18 June 2020) Sydney Morning Herald Food Minister Richard Colbeck met twice with alcohol industry lobbyists, including a major political donor, before a ministerial forum he chairs sent the independent regulator’s proposed mandatory pregnancy warning label back for review. Senator Colbeck met with the industry representatives in February and March after Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) recommended the label, with red and black lettering stating “HEALTH WARNING: Any amount of alcohol can harm your baby”, be printed on alcohol bottles.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders May Increase the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Other Metabolic Issues (17 June 2020) National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA. USA.

FASD Senate Inquiry FARE opening statement (25 June 2020) Note: a history of lobbying for alcohol labels.

Assessment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Washington, D.C.: Pan American Health Organization; 2020. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

Sarah Treleaven (20 May 2020) How To Get Help When A Child Or Teen Is Violent Towards A Parent. Huffington Post

Dana McCauley (19 May 2020) Doctors ‘hesitant’ to warn pregnant women against drinking alcohol. Sydney Morning Herald

Wang X etal (5 May 2020) In utero MRI identifies consequences of early-gestation alcohol drinking on fetal brain development in rhesus macaques Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Dana McCauley (12 May 2020) ‘Smoke and mirrors’: Food minister defends delay on alcohol pregnancy warnings

Mirage (6 May 2020) New research demonstrates effectiveness of alcohol warning labels


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Archived news: July to September 2019

Cynthia Choo (28 September 2019) The Big Read in Short: Inclusive education, British Columbia-style — can S’pore take a leaf from it? In Today.

Sophie Rishworth (27 September 2019) FASD ‘one of the great crises of our time’ Gisborne Herald NZ

Aaron E Carroll (19 August 2019) Why Warning Pregnant Women Not to Drink Can Backfire.’ New York Times

Rutgers University (15 August 2019) ‘Moderate to heavy drinking during pregnancy alters genes in newborns, mothers’. Science Daily

SBS Australia (15 August 2019) ‘Health Minister Greg Hunt denies alcohol plan watered down’.  National Press Club.

Semantic Scholar (2019) Susan Astley – list of published articles

Sundermann, A.C. et al. (2019) Alcohol Use in Pregnancy and Miscarriage: A Systematic Review and Meta‐Analysis. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental

CBC News Canada (8 August 2019) ‘Depression is the largest factor for substance use during pregnancy, research finds’. “If we can target mental health and reduce that substance use, I think it can go a long away for improving children’s health.”

BOOK – Ruth Spencer (2019) ‘The Burning: Parenting my son through adoption, FASD and suicide’. Available on Amazon, Kindle, or Indigo as a book, or ebook download

McRae T, Adams E, Clifton E et al (2 August 2019) ‘Overcoming the challenges of caring for a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disorder: a Pilbara community perspective’. Rural and Remote Health

Eureka Alert (29 July 2019) ‘Midwives and nurse-midwives may underestimate the dangers of prenatal alcohol use.’ The study, “Prenatal alcohol screening during pregnancy by midwives and nurses,” appears in the June 11, 2019 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.–man072919.php

Shiva M Singh (29 July 2019) ‘Alarming Ontario drinking statistics obligates reappraisal of the impact of alcohol on newborns.’ CMAJ

BioSpace (24 July 2019) Government of Canada supports projects to address and prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Canada. Source: PHAC

Leslie Young (2019) ‘Women, young adults visiting the ER for alcohol-related issues in growing numbers.’ Global News VIDEO

World Health Organisation (July 2019) ‘10 areas governments could work with to reduce the harmful use of alcohol’.

Each year 3 million lives are lost due to harmful use of alcohol. The WHO global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol seeks to improve the health and social outcomes for individuals, families and communities, with considerably reduced morbidity and mortality due to harmful use of alcohol and their ensuing social consequences. It is envisaged that the global strategy will promote and support local, regional and global actions to prevent and reduce the harmful use of alcohol. 

The global strategy focuses on ten key areas of policy options and interventions at the national level. The ten areas for national action are:

  1. Leadership, awareness and commitment.
  2. Health services’ response.
  3. Community action.
  4. Drink-driving policies and countermeasures.
  5. Availability of alcohol.
  6. Marketing of alcoholic beverages.
  7. Pricing policies.
  8. Reducing the negative consequences of drinking and alcohol intoxication.
  9. Reducing the public health impact of illicit alcohol and informally produced alcohol.
  10. Monitoring and surveillance.

Katherine Gammon (10 July 2019) ‘Study probes effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on brain development’.  Researchers have long known that babies born to mothers who drank heavily while pregnant have impairments. Now, an innovative study will test their sensory processing — in a community where drinking while pregnant is socially acceptable. University of Southern Carolina.

Sarah C.M. Roberts, Nancy F. Berglas, Meenakshi S. Subbaraman, Amy Mericle, Sue Thomas, William C. Kerr (August 2019) ‘Racial differences in the relationship between alcohol/pregnancy policies and birth outcomes and prenatal care utilization: A legal epidemiology study’. Drug and Alcohol Dependence Vol. 201, August 2019, pp 242-252.

Let’s Talk FASD (30 June 2019) Living with FASD: ‘I’m going to have this for the rest of my life’. Anchorage Daily News.

Svetlana Popova, Shannon Lange, Vladimir Poznyak, Albert E. Chudley, Kevin D. Shield, James N. Reynolds, Margaret Murray and Jürgen Rehm (July 2019) ‘Population-based prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Canada’. BMC Public Health Open Access.

Canada FASD Research Network (July 2019) TRAINING ‘FASD for School Staff Level II: Practical Strategies for the School Environment’ 

Sarah Catherall (27 June 2019) ‘The women out to dispel myths about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder’. Noted New Zealand.


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