Thanks to Chris Rogan from Alcohol Healthwatch

1.       The international charter on prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder The first international conference on prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders was held in Edmonton, AB, Canada, on Sept 23—25, 2013. The conference resulted in the production, endorsement, and adoption of the international charter. More than 700 people from 35 countries worldwide took part in its development. It is presented to all concerned in the international community as a call for urgent action to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(13)70173-6/fulltext

2.       The Chair of the Health Select Committee of the New Zealand Parliament would like to inform you that the Government response to the Health Committee’s Inquiry into ‘Improving child health outcomes and preventing child abuse with a focus from preconception until three years of age’, is to be announced on Thursday 6 March (tomorrow).  The report contained a section with recommendations to address FASD including calling for a national strategic plan and support for a population-based FASD prevalence study as part of a WHO project.

3.       FASD-CAN Inc has released its 2nd newsletter which is available on www.fasd-can.org.nz (click on News to download). It contains a letter from the Human Right’s Disability Commissioner, Paul Gibson supporting FASD as a disability under the UN Convention and endorsing the importance of supporting families living with FASD. 

4.       Alcohol Healthwatch has sent out a press release on the topic of the UK Court of Appeal case considering criminalising women who continue to drink heavily during pregnancy against advice.  A copy can be viewed on www.fan.org.nz and further details are included in item # 13 below.

5.       A 2013 paper by New Zealand researcher at Victoria University Jane Gunn, entitled ‘Meeting the needs of children with FASD through research-based interventions’ can be viewed online http://www.teacherswork.ac.nz/journal/volume10_issue1.php

6.       First Peoples Child & Family Review (Vol 8, No 1 (2013) has dedicated this entire issue to the topic of FASD and Indigenous peoples http://journals.sfu.ca/fpcfr/index.php/FPCFR/issue/view/19 

7.       Break silence about FASD, make awareness universal Deb Evensen of Homer has worked in education about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) for 30 years. She’s still working for a wider awareness of those cruel afflictions, which are 100 percent preventable — but when not prevented, last for life. http://www.adn.com/2014/02/27/3349295/our-view-break-silence-about-fasd.html

8.       Sydney Morning Herald article on FASD and Crime Link.  Before Jack
ever had a drink, alcohol permanently changed his brain. The 26-year-old’s mother drank while pregnant and today Jack suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). He is impatient, impulsive, with a poor memory and a short attention span.http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/lives-and-crimes-kids-who-suffer-foetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder-20140215-32ssk.html

9.       An Australian study has found more than half of women who binge drink continue to do so during pregnancy, , with fewer than one in five following guidelines to abstain from alcohol.  http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/binge-drinkers-continue-practice-in-pregnancy-study-finds-20140128-31kkt.html . For the full research paper go to http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0086171

10.   Alcohol consumption during pregnancy and birth outcomes: the Kyushu Okinawa Maternal and Child Health Study. This is the first study in Japan to show that maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy of 1.0 gram or more per day of pure alcohol, (a standard drink in NZ is 10g) was significantly positively associated with the risk of preterm birth http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2393/14/79

11.   New research reinforces danger of drinking alcohol while pregnant.  Women who drink alcohol at moderate or heavy levels in the early stages of their pregnancy might damage the growth and function of their placenta – the organ responsible for supplying everything that a developing infant needs until birth – research at The University of Manchester shows. MedicalXpress – http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-02-danger-alcohol-pregnant.html

12.   Introducing the Better Safe Than Sorry project.  Susan Rich is a psychiatrist, who heads this campaign and says, “I have recently seen a 10th person with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) awaiting a possible death sentence and work with a forensic psychologist who has evaluated approximately 60 of these individuals over the past several years http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAbZFK1uqHA or check out www.susandrich.com

13.   Drinking while pregnant might soon be a crime in UK. Women who put their unborn babies at risk by drinking to excess during pregnancy should be prosecuted, say activists. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj3S7JCUqJg