BEUC demands bolder EU action on alcohol labelling

BEUC NEWS - 13.02.2015

At present, consumers can know the amount of calories and the ingredients in a bottle of milk or fruit juice, but they don’t have a clue about what a bottle of whisky or beer contains. Few of them are aware of the fact that an average half litre of beer (5% alcohol) contains approximately 220 calories, the equivalent of a chocolate bar.

Because consumers have the right to know what's in their drinks, BEUC has sent a letter to the EU Commissioner for Food and Health, Vytenis Andriukaitis, asking to step up action on alcohol labelling.

The European Commission has been delaying the adoption of its own report on labelling requirements for alcoholic beverages which was due in December last year. It was also expected to propose a definition of ‘alcopops’, those flavoured alcoholic beverages which can contain up to 21 grams of sugar.

BEUC can see no good reason why alcoholic drinks should be treated differently. Labelling nutritional info and the full list of ingredients should be mandatory to help consumers know what and how much to drink.

ENDS

Read our letter to the Food and Health Commissioner, 09/02/2015.
Learn more about BEUC’s position on alcohol labelling in our position paper ‘Informed food choices for healthier consumers’ p.15.