The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse is recommending that all alcoholic drinks sold in the UK come with a warning label. Much like the labels on cigarettes and food warning of fat salt and nicotine, the new alcohol labels would outline the risks associated with drinking.
The parliamentary group has made 10 recommendations to help alleviate alcohol related harm in the UK and alcohol labelling is only one piece of that. The group also wants to cut the legal drink drive limit.
According to the recommendation document, “Consumer information on alcohol products usually extends no further than the volume strength and unit content. In order to inform consumers about balanced risk, every alcohol label should include an evidence-based health warning as well as describing the product's nutritional, calorific and alcohol content."
Conservative MP Tracey Crouch who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse added, "The facts and figures of the scale of alcohol misuse in the UK speak for themselves - 1.2 million people a year are admitted to hospital due to alcohol; liver disease in those under 30 has more than doubled over the past 20 years and the cost of alcohol to the economy totals £21bn.”
Currently representatives from the alcohol industry are resisting the labelling idea. They claim that self-regulation and the current alcohol guides many drinks producers use are enough.
While labelling may be a contentious issue, there are bound to be more arguments about the other 9 recommendations made by the parliamentary group. Some of the more contentious recommendations include introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol, strengthening regulations on alcohol marketing to protect children and young people and reducing the blood alcohol limit for drivers.
If these and the rest of the recommendations are implemented, it would mean a complete overhaul of alcohol industry regulation, laws and treatment.