European public health community ‘disappointed’ with industry approach to alcohol labelling


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Several public health organisations in Europe, including the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) and the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), have voiced disappointment over SpiritsEurope plans to label spirits sold in the European Union. 

Earlier this week, SpiritsEurope announced plans to provide the list of ingredients on spirits online in addition to on-label energy information. Information about energy content will be carried on labels and information on ingredients will be published online at responsibledrinking.eu or via QR codes.

However, in a joint statement, seven public health organisations criticised the planned approach, saying it would provide insufficient information to consumers. 

Professor Helena Cortez Pinto, EU Policy Councillor from the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) said it is “ridiculous” that a carton of milk has product labelling but not a bottle of spirits. “The EU and the Member States have to step up to the plate and take concrete action on labelling or our patients will continue to die early deaths from alcohol-related liver disease."

Prof Dr Frank Ulrich Montgomery, CPME President added: “European doctors are convinced that labels of all alcohol products should include nutritional information and health warnings. Adequate labelling is one way to protect the health of the population.” 

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