Deficient Labels on Alcohol

Warning labels on alcohol containers are highly deficient , new research shows.

Current health warning labels on alcohol beverage containers in New Zealand are highly deficient, new research from the University of Otago, Wellington shows.

The researchers suggest that current voluntary labelling has not worked in New Zealand and mandatory standardised labelling which outlines major alcohol-related risks including pregnancy, drink-driving and cancer, are probably required.

The study found a total absence of any labels on some containers, on others there were “pea-size” pregnancy warnings, and there was a lack of detail generally about health risks, for example only 19 per cent warned about drink-driving.

The research concluded that ‘voluntary recommendations in NZ appear to have been inadequate for producing health warnings on alcoholic beverage containers that are consistent with evidence‐informed recommendations for effective labels. This finding suggests that mandatory standardised labelling outlining alcohol‐related risks may be required to ensure adequate consumer information.’

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