IRELAND: Industry calls for pregnancy advice on drinks labels

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The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has called on the government to implement a law requiring unit information and pregnancy advice on alcoholic drinks labels.

Rosemary Garth, director of ABFI, said the advice would help consumers to make informed decisions about their consumption, promoting a more responsible attitude towards alcohol.

Drinks firms and the government agreed more than a year ago to measures to introduce alcohol unit information on any pre-packaged product. An awareness campaign to accompany the labels was also agreed.

"This unit information will play a very important role in informing individuals about how much alcohol they are consuming, and will allow them to measure this against the government's recommended weekly limits of 21 units for men and 14 for women," said Garth.

"With research frequently showing a general ignorance amongst the Irish public about the amount of alcohol contained in a standard unit, ABFI agreed with the Department of Health that these information labels should be introduced as soon as possible."

ABFI said it hopes the legislation will be introduced early in the New Year.

Garth added that agreement was also reached with the Department of Health for a pictogram/ text highlighting the risk of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

The logo is to be placed on all pre-packaged beverage alcohol products sold in Ireland, something that is already used in France.

Garth, calling for the deal to be made mandatory by the government, said the agreements were "positive examples of the drinks industry proactively working with government to promote a mature attitude to alcohol in this country".

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