Implement a mandatory, evidence-based alcohol labelling regime in Australia
In December 2011, Australian and New Zealand Food and Health Ministers decided to place the alcohol industry in charge of developing and implementing their own health warning labels. It's no surprise that the result has been nothing short of a joke.
To date, only a small proportion of alcohol products carry the industry's labels and when the label is applied, it's barely noticeable.
Food and Health Ministers indicated that after two years they would move to regulating a pregnancy health warning label. However, eight months later there has been no mention of how the Government intends to do this.
We need to ensure that that the Government keeps to its word by letting them know that labelling is too important to be left in the hands of the alcohol industry.
It's time to make some noise so the Government stands up to the powerful alcohol industry lobby group.
We’re aiming to get as many signatures on the petition as possible, and send it on to the Hon Catherine King MP, Chair of the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council.
- The Hon Catherine King MP
- Shadow Minister for Health
Alcohol warning labels are effective in both raising awareness of health risks and changing health behaviours when applied in accordance with evidence-based guidelines.
Effective alcohol health warning labels should be mandatory, government regulated, applied consistently to all alcohol products, comprise both a symbol and text, applied to the front of the product with specified sizing, and implemented as part of a comprehensive public education campaign.
Alcohol warning labelling is currently being left in the hands of the alcohol industry, who are failing to implement their own voluntary system.
One year on from the launch of the alcohol industry’s DrinkWise messages, fewer than one in six products carry a message. When the messages are applied to alcohol products, 98 per cent of the messages take up less than 5 per cent of the label or face of the packaging, with most only occupying one to two per cent.
We call on you to reaffirm your commitment to introducing a Government regulated, mandatory alcohol pregnancy warning label by December 2013; and immediately commence and explain the process for developing an evidence-based pregnancy warning label with specifications on its placement size and implementation from December 2013.
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