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30/01/2008

Commission adopts proposal on the provision of food information to consumers

Brussels, 30 January 2008. Eurocare is pleased that the Commission is taking into account consumers' needs for information regarding mixed alcoholic beverages (alcopops). However Mariann Skar, Secretary General of Eurocare, regrets the decision not to include all alcoholic beverages “this, in our view, is a missed opportunity to adopt a comprehensive approach to labeling and will not benefit the European consumers. Furthermore, this is not in line with the Commission's obligation to seek to improve the coherence between policies that have an impact on alcohol related harm stated in the EU Alcohol Strategy[1].”

EUROCARE believes consumers have a right to know what ingredients are contained in all alcoholic beverages as well as their nutritional value. Alcoholic products should also contain information on the total grams of alcohol in the can/bottle and not just on its alcohol concentration (% by volume) as this is difficult to understand for the average consumer.

As stated in the EU Alcohol Strategy launched in October 2006 'Citizens have the right to obtain relevant information on the health impact, and in particular on the risks and consequences related to harmful and hazardous consumption of alcohol, and to obtain more detailed information on added ingredients that may be harmful to the health of certain groups of consumers[2].'

Notes to the editors:

1.-Commission press release:

http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/08/64&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

2. EUROCARE is an alliance of 45 voluntary and non-governmental organisations from all over Europe dedicated to promote the prevention and reduction of alcohol related harm in Europe.
http://www.eurocare.org
3. Media contacts:

Eurocare Secretariat
Tel: + 32 2 736 05 72 / 0474 83 00 41

[1] Section 6,3 of the EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol related harm COM/2006/625final

[2] Section 5.4.1 of the EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol related harm COM/2006/625final