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28/02/2011

ES: Parliament calls for more informative alcohol labels

Madrid, 25 February 2011. Alcohol labels should warn of the risks associated with drinking. This is the position of the Senators and MPs that make up the mixed Parliamentary committee on Drugs, that last 24 February urged the Government to implement these and other measures to prevent that harm caused by alcohol.

The Committee adopted unanimously the non-legislative proposal by the Socialist Group where the national and regional authorities, as well as the stakeholders, are urged to take measures to prevent and combat the harmful use of alcohol, especially by young people.

The new labelling rules would put an end to the legal vacuum that exists in this regard. In contrast to cigarettes, where packs already emphasize the dangers associated with smoking, alcohol labels are only required to contain information about their alcohol volume.

The proposal also urges the public authorities to tighten regulations on alcohol advertising so that they warn of the risks associated with harmful consumption of alcohol.

The committee also called for more prevention programs and awareness-raising campaigns and better enforcement of the legal purchase age. They also give the government six months to promote joint actions with the agents involved.

The chairman Spanish Federation of Spirits (Febe), Bosco Torremocha, declared that it would be of "no use" to include more information on the alcohol labels since "80% of the production is consumed in hotels, bars and restaurants, where only the barman / waiter handles the bottle". He added that the experience has proved unsuccessful in other countries.
Also, adding the legal drinking age to the labels would mean to have different labels for the different regions of Spain, where the legal purchase age varies from 16 to 18.