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Not good enough – European Parliament helping to secure special treatment for wine labelling

European Alcohol Policy Alliance regrets that the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee in the European Parliament has failed today to ensure that labelling for wine follows requirements set out in Reg. (EU) 1169/2011, on provision of food information to consumers.

Alcoholic producers, unlike other food industries, have enjoyed an exemption from obligations to provide nutritional information and listing ingredients.

In 2017, European Commission’s report on alcohol labelling pointed to the lack of “objective grounds” to justify the absence of information on ingredients and nutrition information on alcoholic beverages, or the need for a differential treatment for alcoholic beverages.

Listing the ingredients contained in a particular beverage can provide a better understanding of how the drink was produced, while nutritional information allows consumers to better monitor their diets.

MEP Dorfmann opinion adopted today in the ENVI Committee, recommends changes to the Commission’s proposal in the agriculture policy area (2018/0218 (COD)). The accepted amendments suggest that labelling of wine should be limited to only energy value.

‘While we acknowledge the movement forward on the issue of labelling, it is regrettable that wine producers are not following Reg. (EU) 1169/2011, like the brewing industry does. This is yet another example in a long history of special treatment for the wine producers. With the current revision of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which is supposed to be fit for the XXI century one has to ask the question whether sentiments from the previous century should still guide the EU’s legislation.’ said Mariann Skar, Secretary General of European Alcohol Policy Alliance.

The provisions voted for today could create a sector by sector rules for labelling, making life harder for customers. Consumers have the right to know what is in their drinks, presented in an easy and transparent manner, to which they are already accustomed to from Reg. (EU) 1169/2011.

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