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Monday, March 1, 2021

Brussels proposes mandatory health warnings on alcohol by 2023

The European Commission Wednesday proposed introducing mandatory health warnings for alcoholic drinks by the end of 2023, as part of its Beating Cancer plan.

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The plan says Brussels will propose labeling alcoholic beverages with “mandatory indications” of their ingredients and nutritional contents by the end of 2022, with health warnings on labels following by the end of 2023.  

The measures will be part of a Commission review of its promotional policy for alcoholic beverages, although Margarítis Schinas, the commissioner for promoting the European way of life, said that: “We won’t label wine as something that is toxic; this is who we are, part of our way of life.”  

An earlier draft of the plan obtained by POLITICO had proposed including calorie content information on labels, and committed the Commission to “stop stimulating consumption of alcohol via the EU promotion programme for agricultural products.”

The draft also called for the Commission to “closely work with member states to reduce online marketing and advertising” as a way of reducing young people’s exposure to alcohol promotion.

However, these proposals were dropped from the final version.  

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Ulrich Adam, the director general of industry group spiritsEUROPE, welcomed the cancer plan, and said his group “fully support targeted policy recommendations that are proven to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol.

“We are heartened to see that the Commission plans to encourage self- and co-regulatory initiatives related to marketing, an area in which our sector has long delivered on ambitious standards and targets,” he added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WCT staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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