The latest overhaul of food labeling laws may require wine and beer to carry a health-warning labels equivalent to the labels on cigarette boxes. Neal Blewett, former health minister who is now the chairman of the Council of Australian Governments that is in charge of the review of food labeling laws said that he had an open mind about the health warnings of alcoholic beverages.
Dr Blewett said to The Australian, All you're required to show is the percentage of alcohol - the rest you're never sure of. He remarked that, The health advocates are wanting health-drinking labeling like 'Don't Drink and Drive.' We've got to take it on board - I have and open mind. The options for smoking-style health warnings on these alcoholic drinks may carry statements that alcohol has adverse effects on unborn babies, or a recommended daily minimum intake for drinking.
The COAG consultation paper that will soon be published mentions that the health advisory information which was called by the National Preventative Health Strategy, to be applied on alcohol labels in order to promote safer drinking. The Australian Consumers' Association, CHOICE is supporting the move of bottles and cans of alcoholic drinks to include nutritional data that carry the list of ingredients and their percentage of daily allowance.
In the submission to the COAG review, CHOICE argues that Alcohol and sugar in alcoholic beverages contribute to energy intake. Dr Blewett stressed that the review may consider allowing food producers to place health claims on their labels. Labels that carry the information of country-of-origin on foods, from seafood, pork, fruits, vegetables, chicken and beef will be considered in the review.