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Alcohol warning labels by 2008

28th May 2007

Alcoholic drinks are to display new health warning labels showing alcoholic units by the end of 2008.

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The labels are part of an agreement between the government and the drinks industry. The idea was originally put forward in 2004 and both sides had difficulty coming to an agreement about how best to present the information.

Health minister Caroline Flint stated: "We want to make it as simple as possible for people to keep an eye on how much they are drinking and help them take the responsibility for lessening the impact excess alcohol can have on their health."

Companies can sign up to the scheme and the government has indicated it will introduce legislation if the drinks industry "did not comply." The decision has been made only by health ministers in England, but will in all likelihood apply to all of the UK.

Language used on the labels will include phrases such as "know your limits" or "drink responsibly." In addition they will carry warnings about drinking alcohol while pregnant or trying to conceive.

Over 7m people drink in excess of the Depatment of Health's current recommended daily amounts of three to four units for men and two to three units for women.

Kevin Hawkins, of the British Retail Consortium, said the industry were dedicated to taking a "responsible attitude to selling alcohol."

"Retailers have been actively involved in the development of this label and the concise and simple way it sets out information," he said.

 


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