EU Commission report: consumers need improved alcohol information
PRESS STATEMENT - 13.03.2017
Consumer information about alcoholic beverages deserves a boost. This is what comes out of the European Commission’s report on alcohol labelling which has just been released, over two years past the deadline1. Regrettably, the report does not call for immediate action to make nutrition and ingredient labelling mandatory for all alcoholic drinks.
The EU Commission commits to survey the measures the industry will roll out over the next 12 months. After that period, they will consider setting up legislation that would make labelling requirements binding.
Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, commented:
“Today consumers can know about what is in a bottle of milk or fruit juice, but not in a bottle of whisky or beer. We’re glad that the Commission recognises the need to better inform consumers about alcoholic beverages.
“However, we doubt that voluntary initiatives will bridge the unacceptable information gap between alcoholic and other drinks. Why wait a year to consider binding rules? They are the only way forward if we want all consumers across the EU to be equally informed about what their wine or vodka contains.
“We cannot see any reason why alcoholic beverages should get special treatment. Let’s not forget that a pint of beer is as loaded with calories as a chocolate bar. At a time of rising obesity, mandatory information on nutrients and ingredients is essential to help consumers choose what and how much to drink.”
1. According to Article 16 of the Food information Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 the European Commission was expected to adopt by 13 December 2014 a report evaluating whether alcoholic beverages should in future be required to provide information on ingredients and nutritional content, and the reasons justifying possible exemptions.
Our press statement What’s in alcoholic drinks should be no mystery says the EU Parliament, April 2015