DrinkWise has promoted the National Health and Medical Research Council’s alcohol guideline that It’s safest not to drink while pregnant for many years via alcohol product labels, retail point-of-sale and within medical clinics. DrinkWise developed these consumer information messages for alcohol labels to assist Australian consumers to better understand the facts about alcohol consumption.
Incorporating these messages on alcohol labels enables DrinkWise to talk directly to consumers. The messages encourage consumers to ‘Get the Facts’ from the DrinkWise website – where they can find evidence-based information about alcohol, to support them in taking a healthier and safer approach to alcohol consumption.
DrinkWise advocacy for the inclusion of the pregnancy messaging on alcohol labels has seen the majority of alcohol products sold feature the logo or message and over 250 additional downloads of the logo by industry participants since the start of this year. DrinkWise supports measures that increase awareness of the message that it’s safest not to drink while pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding and will continue to use broad and targeted education initiatives to increase awareness of that important health advice.
In October 2018, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) met and agreed that: “a mandatory labelling standard for pregnancy warning labels on packaged alcoholic beverages should be developed and should include a pictogram and relevant warning statement. The Forum requested Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) develop this mandatory labelling standard as a priority and that the work be completed expeditiously.
The Forum recognised the efforts of a large segment of the sector, including many small businesses, in voluntarily adopting pregnancy labelling. In recognition of these efforts, the Forum called for comprehensive consultation and appropriate transition timelines and stock-in-trade exemptions on new arrangements.”
(Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation – Final Communiqué – 11 October 2018)
DrinkWise will provide an update on this page once the mandatory labelling standard for pregnancy warning labels has been agreed – it is expected that a decision will be communicated by the Forum in mid-late 2019.