The Standing Committee of European doctors (CPME) has urged the European Union (EU) to take action to improve the labelling of alcoholic beverages, saying consumers should know what is in their drinks.
In a statement, it has urged authorities to end the exemption of alcoholic beverages from Regulation 1169/2011, which would require the industry to provide a list of ingredients and nutritional information on products. The CPME says alcoholic beverages should be treated in the same way as foodstuffs and non-alcoholic beverages.
Last year, the European alcoholic beverage industry submitted a self-regulatory proposal on alcohol labelling to authorities which proposed both the inclusion of off-label and/or on-label nutritional information. Earlier this month, spirits EUROPE, which represents the producers of spirits in Europe, launched a web portal with information on spirit drinks sold in the EU.
However, CPME President Prof Dr Frank Ulrich Montgomery said he believes self-regulation by the industry is "not an appropriate way to protect the population from alcohol-related harm" and "has not succeeded in improving public health outcomes so far."
He said general health information about alcoholic drinks should be given by public health institutions and authorities, not the alcohol industry.