Ministers may legislate after finding 85% of labels on alcohol to be inadequate

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 17 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c966
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

The governments in the United Kingdom have launched a public consultation on whether to introduce legislation that will require the drinks industry to include information on alcohol units and health warnings on labels, after a survey found that 85% of drink labels fail to provide the information required by the current voluntary agreement.

Under the agreement, made in 2007, the drinks industry said that by the end of 2008 it would introduce labels on most alcoholic drink containers showing units of alcohol and other health information.

The agreement set out five key pieces of information that should be included on drinks containing alcohol: the drink’s alcohol unit content; the government recommended limits on alcohol consumption for men and women; advice to avoid alcohol in pregnancy; a message about responsible drinking (such as “Know your limits”); and the URL of the website of the Drinkaware Trust, an independent charity that promotes sensible drinking.

An independent survey published this week …

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