Alcohol Labels Due for a Change
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Alcohol Labels Due for a Change

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Alcohol Labels Due for a Change
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posted in Recent jobs and industry news by Gary Lovell on 13:25 Jun 6th, 2019

 The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is now urging drink manufacturers to make considerable changes to alcoholic beverage labels. Nothing has been regulated yet, but it is just a matter of time. Now that the issue has been brought forth by the RSPH, there should be movement to follow that will see this as regulated as the tobacco industry. The RSPH feels there is vacuum on the health effects of alcohol and it has been ‘flying under the radar’ for long enough.

While food labelling regulations are becoming stricter each day, alcoholic beverages in the UK somehow managed to dodge labelling regulations until now. As consumers are growing increasingly conscious about labels and most Millennials can’t even imagine tobacco packaging without explanatory warnings anymore, the RSPH finds it remarkable that no similar labelling regulations exist for alcoholic drinks. “Even though explanatory warnings are currently mandatory on several products like tobacco, food and soft drinks, alcohol continues to lag behind,” says Professor Shirley Cramer CBE of RSPH. “If we are to raise awareness and reduce alcohol harm, this must change.”

Research shows that only 1 in 6 consumers is aware of the 14-unit guideline and the conditions and diseases excessive alcohol consumption can cause. But just how effective would mandatory labelling of alcoholic beverages be? Very effective, concludes Portman Group after conducting a survey of around 18,000 British adults. Mentioning calorie content, for one, could convince 1 in 10 consumers to opt for drinks with a lower alcohol percentage. Another survey, carried out by the University of Sheffield and Cancer Research UK, revealed that 90 percent of Britons are currently unaware of the connection between alcohol and cancer.

The RSPH is asking alcoholic beverage manufacturers to include some information on their labels to help the public understand health implications. That information includes: the number of units in the bottle; the 14-units-a-week guideline; health warnings (that alcohol may cause breast and bowel cancer); and a warning not to drink and drive. They are also asking these manufacturers to include traffic light colour coding similar to those found on food items.

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