Action on labelling welcomed by the NAAA

The NAAA has joined with health groups across Australia to welcome the announcement of further government moves towards regulating warning labels on alcohol, following the meeting of the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation which is chaired by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, the Hon Shayne Neumann MP. The communique from the Forum included the following announcement regarding labeling:

In December 2011, Food Regulation Ministers agreed to provide the alcohol industry a two-year period to adopt voluntary initiatives to place pregnancy warnings on labels of alcohol products.

Food Regulation Ministers noted that a project to evaluate action taken by the alcohol industry in Australia in placing pregnancy warnings on alcohol products will commence shortly. The independent evaluation will be conducted in three stages. During the first stage the evaluation framework will be developed in consultation with stakeholders. The second stage will include an analysis of industry initiatives and economic impacts, with a quantitative analysis of the labelling initiative planned for stage three.

New Zealand will also be undertaking an evaluation of the New Zealand industry’s voluntary labelling initiatives.

Interim and final reports will be provided to Food Regulation Ministers in December 2013 and March 2014 respectively. While it was agreed to await the outcome of the independent review, Food Regulation Ministers have asked FSANZ to provide advice on the steps that would be required to regulate and have agreed to hold an extraordinary meeting as soon as the review report becomes available.