This week policy makers from all over Europe gathered to discuss the risks posed by alcohol abuse to unborn children. One of their conclusions was that the EU should introduce mandatory warning labels on bottles and cans.

 

The consensus on the conference was that many cases of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can be avoided with the right communication tools in place. Tatiana Collonozzi, president of the European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare) said that: ‘Everything is 100% preventable if we can deliver the message that there is no safe or acceptable limit’.

Presently, EU governments are pursuing a wide variety of policies on alcohol abuse. At the conference people were pointing at the situation in France, where all alcohol bottles and cans must carry labels warning of the dangerous consequences of drinking when pregnant. However, as yet, many countries have no specific requirements.

French lawyer Benoît Titran pointed out that EU governments already have the legal tools at their disposal to force producers to place warning labels on their products. ‘The Consumer Products Directive obliges producers to carry labels on their products whenever the risks to consumers are not immediately obvious, as is clearly the case with alcohol and pregnancy,’ according to Titran.

“All alcoholic beverages should carry health and safety warnings, in a standard design and location. They should be non-promotional, factual and understandable, and approved by EU health ministers,” said Eurocare Secretary-General Mariann Skar.

For more information from the conference see euractiv.com

Source: Euractive.com 09/08/09

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