[Guest post by DRJ]
A British physician who helped establish the Department of Health
intoxication safe drinking guidelines 20 years ago admits the recommendations had no scientific basis:
“Guidelines on safe alcohol limits introduced 20 years ago were no more than an “intelligent guess”, according to reports.
The Department of Health continues to recommend that men should drink no more than 21 units of alcohol per week, and women should drink no more than 14 units. But the guidelines, first introduced in 1987, had no firm scientific basis, according to a report in The Times newspaper.
Richard Smith, a member of the Royal College of Physicians working party that produced the recommendations, told the paper the limits were prompted by “a feeling that you had to say something”. He said: “Those limits were really plucked out of the air. They were not based on any firm evidence at all. It was a sort of intelligent guess by a committee.”
The committee’s epidemiologist had confessed that “it’s impossible to say what’s safe and what isn’t” because “we don’t really have any data whatsoever”, Mr Smith said.”
This may also explain why the Brits banned guns.
UPDATE: Thanks to Itsme who noted the article concerns safe drinking levels rather than intoxication levels.