EUROPE: Door left ajar for tougher labelling rules on alcoholic drinks
Alcoholic drinks exempt from full ingredient & nutrition labelling rules
The European Commission has agreed to review alcoholic drinks' exemption from new nutrition and ingredient labelling rules in the European Union.
As part of the new EU regulation on food labelling, published and implemented yesterday (8 December), the European Commission must review the position of alcoholic drinks within the next three years. Industry lobbying has so far helped to keep alcoholic drinks exempt from the most stringent ingredients and nutrition labelling requirements in the EU.
Currently, only basic information, such as energy values, are required to be printed on drinks packaging. However, firms in several countries already print alcohol unit information on packs, as well was warnings for pregnant women.
In addition to the Commission's review on alcohol labelling, the new EU regulation also requires the Commission to examine whether or not to establish a specific category for "alcopops". This would include drinks "specifically targeted at young people", and so might require tougher labelling rules, the EU regulation states.
For now, the regulation proposes that EU member states consider voluntary labelling deals with drinks producers, such as for calorie content.
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