CDC’s Study on Alcohol Use is Misleading – Philadelphia Inquirer Op-ed

The Centers for Disease Control has weighed in very publicly in the debate surrounding the privatization of state liquor stores in Pennsylvania, suggesting that privatization would harm public health. The studies CDC cites as evidence, however, do not support that claim.

Robert Brewer, who leads the alcohol program in the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, has repeatedly pointed to a review by CDC’s Community Task Force. It found a 44 percent median increase in per capita sales of privatized alcoholic beverages within jurisdictions that underwent privatization of retail alcohol sales.

Unfortunately, Brewer has never explained what the 44 percent estimate really means. This data, which has been presented out of context, is misleading and useless in the Pennsylvania privatization discussions.