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06/07/2011

What’s NOT on the bottle? Exemption of alcohol from Food Information to Consumers Provision

Eurocare (European Alcohol Policy Alliance) is extremely disappointed with the shape of the Food Information to Consumers legislation which exempts alcoholic beverages from obligation to list its content.

This is despite the fact that alcohol is high in calorie content, carbohydrates and certain ingredients used in its production can cause allergies or intolerances.

We strongly believe that we all have the right to make informed choices and the current proposal will mean that one will know what is in a bottle of a fruit juice but not in a bottle of alcoholic beverage.

Providing information (about ingredients and energy value per 100ml) would allow consumers to assess the quality of the beverages and keep track of their calorie intake.

Marian Skar, Secretary General of Eurocare, says: "We are very disappointed and concerned about the exemption of alcohol from providing information to consumers. Labelling alcoholic drinks would allow consumers to make an informed choice about their diet and health. This is a bitter reminder about the influence of the powerful industry lobbying on the politicians and their failure to give priority to interest of the people. It really makes us all wonder what is in our drinks, that the industry is so afraid to tell us."

The European Parliament’s decision is not only ignoring the health and letting people take their own informed choice but it is also not in line with EU’s previous declarations. As stated in the EU Alcohol Strategy launched in October 2006: ‘Citizens have the right to obtain relevant information on the 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’[1]

[1]http://ec.europa.eu/prelex/detail_dossier_real.cfm?CL=en&DosId=194854

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Notes to editors:

For more information please contact:

European Alcohol Policy Alliance:
Mariann Skar (Secretary General)
Email: mariann.skar@eurocare.org
Tel: +32 (0)2 736 05 72 or +32 (0) 474 830 041
Website: www.eurocare.org

EUROCARE (The European Alcohol Policy Alliance) is an alliance of organizations working on the prevention and reduction of alcohol related harm in Europe. Member organisations are involved in research and advocacy, as well as in the provision of counselling services and residential support for problem drinkers, the provision of workplace and school based programmes and the provision of information to the public.

Eurocare advocates the prevention of alcohol related harm in Europe through effective evidence based alcohol policy.

Download Eurocare Press Release: What's NOT on the bottle? Exemption of alcohol from Food Information to Consumers Provision