By Andy Young, editor TheShout

A senior partner in the law firm representing British American Tobacco’s fight against plain packaging has warned that Australian regulators could look to bring graphic warning labels on to alcoholic beverage packaging.

Speaking to Fairfax Media Benjamin Rubinstein from Herbert Smith Freehills said that regulators in Australia may consider graphic warning labels on alcohol products, soft drinks and foods that are viewed as unhealthy.

Rubenstein told Fairfax: “I think there have been rumblings among the public health community about what’s next: is it just tobacco? What about sugary foods? Fatty foods? What about alcohol?

“Often tobacco, whether it’s litigation or regulation, is the canary in the coal mine and I think public health authorities rightly want to encourage healthier lifestyles and there are a variety of ways they can do that, and, of course, there are limits – be they free speech limits or property rights – on what they can do.”

Several countries, including the United States, South Korea and Brazil, currently require text-based warnings on alcohol containers.

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