A report expresses an official position of the Academy.

Gilles CRÉPIN, Gérard BRÉART (Rapporteurs) in the name of the X Commission (Reproduction & Development)

The prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome is increasing worldwide. France is not spared from this scourge that affects children from birth to adolescence. It manifests itself in its most severe and complete form by combining cranio-facial anomalies, growth retardation and mental deficit. There are many other aspects gathered under FAS-related problems that are dominated by learning and memorization disorders responsible for learning difficulties as well as cognitive and behavioral disorders.

Since the release of a statement by the National Academy of Medicine in 2004, significant progress has been made in the fields of epidemiology, understanding of alcohol toxicity on brain mechanisms as well as on clinical and laboratory detection methods of alcohol poisoning.

The gravity of the condition passed on the unborn child calls for collective awareness. Strict supervision measures are required and include :

  • Information by the media, of all actors involved, starting with pregnant women themselves, but also adolescents, women of childbearing age and the general public;
  • Training of all health professionals involved with pregnancy, delivery and children, as well as teachers;
  • Prevention targeting on changing the logo on liquor bottles, planning and monitoring of pregnancy, the use of a self-administered questionnaire and modern biomarkers for the detection of poisoning

These guidelines are subject to recommendations concluded by a single watchword : zero tolerance for alcohol during pregnancy.

The Academy seizure at its meeting on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, adopted the text of the report with 68 votes for, 1 against and 3 abstentions.