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22/07/2014

More information on alcohol labels? Yes, but not in the EU

Over the years Eurocare has been advocating for better labelling across the EU, which would allow consumers make informed and healthy choices.

Unfortunately, alcohol has been exempted from the obligation to provide allergens and ingredients listing on their products from EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers; by December the EC should produce a report on this matter.

However on the other side of the Atlantic one person is managing to do what others have failed for years.

A food blogger, under a pen name of Food Babe has launched an online petition asking major beer companies to disclose their ingredients online. Over 24hours she has managed to collect 43,000 online signatures to her petition. Food Babe has managed to get Anheiser-Busch to publicly reveal the list of ingredients for its beer at the TapIntoYourBeer.com website.

It remains to be seen whether other companies will realise that it is in their brands interest to fully disclose the list of ingredients their products contain and nutritional value.

As far as the health information messages are concerned, consumers in Turkey will be informed about negative impact that alcohol might have on their health.

As of 11th June this year, the warning health messages affixed on alcoholic beverages are required in Turkey.

The aim is to draw attention about negative effects of alcohol consumption to human health for people under eighteen, vehicle drivers and pregnant women.

The three pictograms set out in the labels aim to warn these three internationally accepted target groups (minors, drivers and pregnant women).

Warning messages shall be affixed;

- directly onto the packaging,

- onto the stickers affixed directly onto the packaging,

- onto the label.”

These pictograms should be easily visible and may be affixed anywhere excepting the bottom of alcoholic beverages. Within this scope, warning messages may be applied on separate stickers affixed directly onto the packaging

It remains to be seen whether the EU legislature will make any progress in the coming years in relation to alcohol labelling and providing consumers with health related information as well as composition of the products. It seems that in this area the EU is starting to lack behind both the US and Turkey.

Eurocare is organising an event on the subject of alcohol labelling on 10th September in European Parliament (Brussels) from 3:30pm till 5:30pm. Join us and find out more about current state of play in alcohol labelling in the EU.

Register for ‘What’s not on the bottle? State of alcohol labelling in the EU’