A French government decree on the mandatory introduction on all bottles of wines and spirits of a pictogram  highlighting zero tolerance of alcohol consumption by women during pregnancy is poised for publication in the official State Gazette.

Having initially been pencilled for April this year, the PM's office says the decree is now set to be published at the latest in the first few days October. An ad campaign promoting the pictogram is currently being prepared.

The intiative was launched in August 2004 by the then Health minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, following the opening of a judicial investigation into the lack of information on the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Out of 750,000 births annually in France between 700 and 2,000 babies are affected by foetal alcoholisation syndrome.  

Studies claim that alcohol consumption equal to or greater than 20 g/day is associated with a reduced birth weight. Effects on the child's cognitive development have also been seen with a consumption of 20 g/day.