The European spirits industry launched a new web portal on Tuesday (12 March) to provide more consumer information on liquors and other distillates. However, it is still unclear whether such initiatives are in line with the European Commission's objectives.
The rising trend of imposing plain packaging on unhealthy products has raised eyebrows in the industry, which fears that its brands are under threat. The World Health Organisation, on the other hand, insists that the measure provides a long-term benefit for public health.
The alcohol industry presented on 12 March their self-regulatory proposal on labelling, focusing on “flexibility” for wine, beer, spirits and cider. Alcohol makers will be free to decide whether to place information on the label, online or both.
Nutritional information should be clearly marked on the labels of alcohol products, and the off-label proposals being put forward by industry are not sufficient, writes Professor Markus Peck-Radosavljevic.
The decision to raise excise taxes on alcohol “penalises” the majority of consumers who drink responsibly, while those who have issues with alcohol will be unaffected as they will keep on drinking excessively, Alexandre Ricard told EURACTIV.com in an interview.
It takes willingness from all sides in order to make the EU's Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF) effective, a European Commission official has said, urging businesses and health NGOs to return to the discussion table.
Makers of spirits and beer are exploring self-regulatory solutions to show consumers the ingredients contained in the alcohol they drink. However, they find the Commission's timeline "too tight" and fear mandatory rules will eventually be imposed on them.
In his State of the Union speech, Jean-Claude Juncker called the Canada-EU trade agreement the most progressive trade agreement the EU has ever negotiated. It actually poses a genuine threat to the health sector, argues Emma Woodford.