By Ian Neubauer

The Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA) has written a submission that argues against the proposed introduction of mandatory pregnancy warning labels for alcoholic beverage bottles sold in Australia and New Zealand. 

“All of the research into labelling shows that it does not change drinking behaviour,” DSICA said in the submission. “Our position is that labelling should be a small part of a much larger and more comprehensive public health campaign, and until that campaign is up and running, we would not support labelling.”

The highly contentious issue resurfaced in December last year after the Alcohol Advisory Council of Australia (AACA) asked Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to make pregnancy warnings mandatory for alcoholic beverage containers. The AACA believes drinking alcohol during pregnancy can be associated with varying degrees of harm to the unborn child.  

In accordance to regulations, FSANZ released a discussion paper and announced an eight-week public consultation period that expired on February 6. Once collated, feedback will be used to evaluate the drinking patterns of pregnant women and their knowledge of the risks associated with consuming alcohol during pregnancy.   

“If the evidence indicates there is a need to better inform consumers of the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, we will consider the possibility of requiring a health advisory label on alcoholic beverage containers,” FSANZ said in a statement.

FSANZ is required to complete its assessment by December 12.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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