Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has received an application to amend the pregnancy warning marks on corrugated cardboard packaging and is now calling for comment on the proposed change.

The application is seeking to change the warning labels to a single colour on a contrasting background, and to be made larger. The change is being sought to address a technical printing issue which results in misalignment of the three-colour pregnancy warning mark on corrugated cardboard packaging.

The applicant says this issue makes the warning label difficult to read and therefore reduces its effectiveness. Corrugated cardboard is typically used to package multiple cans or bottles of alcoholic beverages.

The application states: “This application has broad-based support from the alcoholic beverages and packaging sectors in Australia and New Zealand. The following entities, representing virtually all of the alcohol beverages sector in Australia and New Zealand as well as a significant share of the cardboard recycling and manufacturing sector, support this Application:

  • Visy Industries, the major recycler and manufacturer of CCCs in Australia and New Zealand;
  • the New Zealand Brewers Association and the Brewers Guild, the national industry bodies for New Zealand beer producers;
  • the Brewers Association of Australia, the national industry body for Australian beer producers;
  • Australian Grape and Wine, the national industry body for Australian wine producers;
  • New Zealand Winegrowers, the national industry body for New Zealand wine producers;
  • Spirits New Zealand, the national body for New Zealand spirits producers and importers;
  • Spirits and Cocktails Australia, the national body for Australian sprits and cocktails producers and importers.”

FSANZ said: “The proposed changes would allow an alternative larger pregnancy warning mark to be printed on corrugated cardboard outer packaging when a post-print (flexographic) process is used. The current three-colour mark will remain a requirement for all other packaging and single units of alcohol.  

“Pregnancy warning labels are an important part of increasing awareness of the risks of drinking alcohol while pregnant. Currently, warning labels on all packaged alcoholic beverages will be required from 1 August 2023.”

The period for comment closes at 6pm, Canberra time, on 16 November and you can head to the FSANZ website, to make your comment.

All feedback will be considered by FSANZ before making a decision on whether to approve the application/proposal.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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