Above is the new alcohol labelling being proposed by the Portman Group as part of their Responsibility Programme (click on it to enlarge). Their website states “Minister for Public Health, Jane Ellison has also confirmed that industry has met its target by achieving 79.3% on its pledge to feature important health information on 80% of labels on shelf by the end of 2013.” A public report is expected from the Portman Group who agreed to monitor the labelling pledge. I have an issue with the industry self monitoring but that is the subject for a different post.
So what do I think? Well I think the labelling is a start. This mirrors the equivalent of when cigarette packaging showed the nicotine and tar content of the cigarettes on the side that have been in use since before the 1970’s and which I talked about in this post here. Did I ever pay much attention to them when I smoked? No not really as they didn’t mean very much to me and my way of addressing the issue was to switch to lower tar cigarettes. Not really the answer!
In 1971 more stark warnings were implemented that were more than these being proposed and research in 2009 showed that:
So I would advocate health warnings linked to the impact of drinking on health rather than the generic unit information and Chief Medical Officer recommendations. I suspect that the industry is implementing this so as to avoid more stringent warnings being necessitated by the Govt.
If this was a school report it would read ‘could do better’ but then the industry is not going to recommend anything that might impact on sales and allow people to make a more informed choice now are they? What do you think?
51 days to go
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