The media has, in general, done a poor job of reporting on studies regarding alcohol intake during pregnancy. When the media over-interprets some studies it sends an unwarranted message that "drinking during pregnancy might be beneficial." When the media over-interprets other studies it sends an unwarranted bit of hyperbole - some might say fear-mongering - that can lead pregnant women to consider abortion. More research can only help our understanding. No amount of research is likely to ever discover a "safe threshold", and therefore women looking for a green light to drink during pregnancy will not - and should not - receive one from the medical community.
Entering the lobby of the august Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter—conference headquarters—I found myself sampling drinks even before I checked in. Dashing to a seat in my first seminar, I heard the promising rattle of ice behind me, and sure enough, there were several cocktails to be served during the hour.
The irony of PA state residents footing the bill for this type of program, which provides (at best) marginal benefit to the state’s wine consumers while helping to perpetuate the state’s monopoly position in wine distribution and therefore bolsters continuing higher prices, limited selection, and decreasing incentive to improve service, well, it’s not lost on all of us, is it?