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Food safety Ministers in Australia and New Zealand have listened to the community and put the health and safety of families first by agreeing to introduce an effective mandatory health warning on alcohol products. Ministers have agreed to the recommendation of Food Standards Australia New Zealand which is a red, black and white warning, with the signal wording ‘pregnancy warning’.
The Ministers were encouraged to do the right thing by almost four thousand community leaders and advocates and more than 180 community, health, medical and research organisations.Eurocare was a proud supporter of the campaign #visiblehealthwarning lead by FARE and is hoping that WHO and Member States will follow suit to establish this as an international standard.
This decision by Ministers will improve the health and wellbeing of Australian families and communities for generations to come. It’s commendable that Ministers are now introducing a pregnancy health warning which the evidence has proven will effectively alert people to the significant risks of alcohol exposure in pregnancy. Having a red, black and white label is important so the message can be understood by all.
Eurocare has been for decades advocating for mandatory health messages on alcoholic beverages in Europe and is hoping the WHO and European Commission will address this important issue in the near future.
Labelling of alcoholic beverages is a WHO-recommended practice, the recent HEN report outlines in detail how policy makers could introduce a better alcohol labelling regime. WHO recommends that to successfully comply with the WHO European Action Plan to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol 2012–2020 and the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol, countries of the European Region should adopt strong and comprehensive labelling policies.