1 July 2011
As a major brewer, SABMiller cannot ignore the issue of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) - the cluster of physical and mental birth defects that can result from a mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
FAS is the most preventable form of intellectual disability and we've been working on a number of prevention programmes over the years. A good example is the partnership in South Africa between SAB Ltd and the NGO, FASfacts, which raises awareness of FAS among vulnerable groups in the Cape (http://www.sabmiller.com/index.asp?pageid=2073).
Now we're going a step further. This week we added a new FAS page to TalkingAlcohol.com, the website that helps consumers to make informed decisions about alcohol and to drink more responsibly. If you click on http://www.talkingalcohol.com/index.asp?pageid=134 you'll find more information on the condition and an excellent animated video on the effects of alcohol on an unborn child.
And coming up next week on 6 July, we'll have the website's first-ever web chat. Hosted by the US-based National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (http://www.nofas.org/), it brings in FAS expert, Professor Edward Riley of San Diego State University, to answer questions live from 4pm onwards, UK time.
The new page and the web chat are part of our ongoing effort to engage with our stakeholders on alcohol-related issues in society. They underscore one of SABMiller's six alcohol principles, namely that information provided to consumers on alcohol consumption should be balanced and accurate. That's exactly what we're trying to do with these latest initiatives.
If you've got a question for Professor Riley on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, be ready on 6 July to put it to him on http://www.talkingalcohol.com/index.asp?pageid=134. Or better still, submit it beforehand. We look forward to a lively exchange of views and information and more events of this kind in the future.