International Center for Alcohol Policies

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The International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) is an American based think tank which

Alcohol badge.jpg This article is part of the Spinwatch public health oriented Alcohol Portal project.

involves governments, and industry on issues connected to alcohol consumption and abuse. The ICAP claims to advocate corporate social responsibility, working in partnership with relevant stakeholders and the use of evidence based policy regarding issues concerning alcohol.

ICAP provides a range of advice to policy makers on a wide range of issues including: binge drinking, drinking and driving, drinking guidelines, drunkenness, marketing, responsible advertising and promotion of alcohol, noncommercial and illicit alcohol in society, violence associated with drinking, young people's drinking and social and educational issues. [1] ICAP emphasises the importance of working in partnership with other organisations a recent example of this is their participation as members on the European Alcohol and Health Forum established in June 2007.

Developing Alcohol policy in Africa

The International Center for Alcohol Policies employs Keith R. Evans as a consultant [2]. ICAP describe Evans as one of their consultants who "undertaken work on behalf of ICAP with the Government’s of England, Scotland, South Africa and Botswana on the development of sustainable alcohol policies". [3] Evans has worked for the past 25 years in the alcohol and public health field in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

Evans has been meeting with African governments with a draft alcohol policy document designed by big alcohol. The alcohol industry sends individuals like Evans to direct alcohol control polices in their favour. Evans was joined by Mitch Ramsay policy adviser to SABMiller and Damon Ansell of Diageo to support the initiative. Evans has been working in Ghana with free market think tank IMANI to achieve alcohol policy that the industry can support.[4]

ICAP Research

  • Alcohol Policy Survey

ICAP has "surveyed Ministers of Health, Directors General of Health Services and key policy professionals in national governments, quasi-governmental bodies and other national entities responsible for developing and implementing alcohol policy in countries around the world" [5]. The aim of this research was for the ICAP to identify key areas for input in the development of policy concerning the alcohol industry. The findings help allow ICAP to assess and react to policy requirements arising from different cultures and patterns of consumption. The first Alcohol Policy Survey was conducted in 2001

  • Moonshine Markets

This research explores alcohol 'black markets' in six countries, (Brazil, India, Mexico, Russia, Tanzania and Zambia). The ICAP claims that unrecorded and non-commercial alcohol or moonshine, accounts for 50% of global alcohol consumption. The research provides an analysis of each of the illegal alcohol including its "history, cultural significance and the legal and socioeconomic framework of its production and consumption". [6]

  • Drinking Patterns

The focus of this project was to provide an account of patterns of alcohol consumption across cultures. Although the ICAP admit that levels of alcohol consumption is an indicator of 'harm' they emphasise the positive side of alcohol and regard these as, benefits to health, enhanced quality of life, and enjoyment. The ICAP use these findings from their Drinking Patterns project to "offer a basis for the development of sound policies that are aimed at specific populations and at reducing the potential for harm". [7]


ICAP is funded entirely by the alcohol industry. It claims to 'make no secret' of its sponsors and considers their funding 'as testimony to the seriousness of their intentions to play an active role in seeking solutions to alcohol problems around the world.'[8] The following companies are sponsors:


Asahi Breweries LTD | Bacardi-Martini | Beam Global Spirits & Wine | Brown-Forman Corporation | Diageo PLC | Heineken | InBev | Molson Coors | Pernod Ricard | SABMiller PLC | Scottish & Newcastle[9]


Anheuser-Busch InBey |Asahi Breweries | Bacardi-Martini | Beam Global Spirits & Wine |Brown-Forman Corporation | Diageo | Heineken |Molson Coors | Pernod Ricard | SABMiller [10]





  1. ICAP Web Site IPCA About Us accessed 2007
  2. Integrity in Science Website Integrity in Science Last accessed April 3rd 2008
  3. ICAP Website Our Consultants & Advisors Last accessed April 3rd 2008
  4. IMANI Draft Policy on Alcohol for Ghana accessed 19th August 2009
  5. ICAP Web Site ICAP Alcohol Policy Survey accessed 2007
  6. ICAP Research Moonshine Markets accessed 2007
  7. ICAP Research Drinking Patterns accessed 2007
  8. Marcus Grant, "President's Letter", No Date, accessed 09 February 2010
  9. ICAP Web Site ICPA Sponsors accessed 2007
  10. ICAP, Sponsors , accessed 5 October 2010.