Professor Nutt is developing a healthy alcohol

Ex Government drugs tsar Professor David Nutt is working on the development of a type of booze without the health risks associated with alcohol. It is said to mimic the effects of alcohol but without the hangover or liver damage.

Nutt says that tests on volunteers are underway, and with government backing, the synthetic alcohol could be available in three to five years. There is even an antidote that could reverse the effects of the ‘safe booze’, allowing users to drive home after taking it.

As good as this may sound, the former chairman of the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs fears that the product may be hard to sell. Governments could classify it as a drug, and alcohol manufacturers might protest.

Three more drugs experts quit

David Nutt was sacked last week over views he expressed in an academic journal in January and a lecture he later gave at King's College London. He argued that Ecstasy and LSD are less harmful than alcohol and cigarettes, and criticised the Government's decision to upgrade the legal classification of cannabis from C to B.

In response to his sacking, three more scientists have resigned from the UK drug advisory body. Two other members of the body resigned earlier this week. Liberal Democrat science spokesman Dr. Evan Harris told the BBC that the recent resignations demonstrate that Home secretary Johnson (who is responsible for the sacking of Nutt) "doesn't get it" when it comes to respecting the academic freedom of independent, unpaid, science advisors.