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Voluntary alcohol labelling proposal "a non-starter" - European Commission

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Alcohol producers in the European Union risk the imposition of mandatory labelling for their wares, as a voluntary code has received another knock-back from the European Commission.

Alcohol producers in the European Union risk mandatory alcohol labelling if they cant improve their voluntary proposal

Alcohol producers in the European Union risk mandatory alcohol labelling if they can't improve their voluntary proposal

The submission of a self-regulatory proposal for alcohol labelling by seven EU trade associations in March was attacked three months later by the Health & Food Safety Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis. Late last week, an EC official told just-drinks that the Commission does not intend to approve the proposal, which was dismissed by Andriukaitis in June as failing to address some of the key consumer information requirements.

The official, a Commission spokesperson for health & food safety projects, said the EU executive is "open for further discussions" and that consultations are now underway. He made it clear, however, that in its current form the labelling proposal is a non-starter.

"Our main interest is to make sure that consumers are informed," the spokesperson said, noting that the voluntary code is "not consistent" with the 2011 regulation on food information to consumers.

The official said the EU executive would still prefer to approve a voluntary system, although he warned that "an impact assessment to review further available options" would be launched. The spokesperson declined to say whether the impact assessment would begin during the mandate of the current European Commission, which expires in November next year.

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