Bottles of alcohol will finally contain information about healthy drinking guidelines more than three years after the new rule was introduced
- The Chief Medical Officer of the government issued guidelines in January 2016
- It took three years before the government imposed strict new packaging rules
- Members of the alcohol standards industry told optional print guidance in 2016
Alcohol companies will finally put strict new drinking guidelines in the bottle and can label labels three and a half years after they have been drawn up.
Updated advice from men and women to drink no more than 14 units per week was published in January 2016 by the Chief Medical Officer of the government.
It says that there is no "safe level" of consumption and is much stricter than the old guidelines, which recommended a maximum of three to four units per day for men, or two to three units for women.
Advice prepared by the chief physician of the government in January 2016 suggested that much stricter drinking guidelines should be placed on the package
A pint of 4.7 percent lager contains 2.7 units, a double gin and tonic is 1.8 units and a 125 ml glass of prosecco is 1.4 units.
The alcohol industry standardization body told its members in 2017 that they were not required to print the new limits because the guidance was voluntary.
The Portman Group, which represents companies such as Bacardi, Heineken, Carlsberg and Diageo, the maker of Smirnoff and Guinness, has changed its advice. Companies were told that they had until September to update the packaging, but so far almost all labels have the old guidelines.
The group now says that all members have agreed to the 14-unit guidance & # 39; as quickly as possible & # 39; – and has encouraged the rest of the industry to follow this example.
Last night, head drug Dame Sally Davies welcomed the move and said, "People often don't know the damage that regularly consuming more than 14 units per week can harm their health."
And John Timothy from the Portman Group said, "Although labels are just one way to communicate information, we, as a responsible industry, believe it is important to do everything we can to promote moderation and minimize the risk of damage."
Members of the alcohol standards industry were told in 2017 that they were not required to print the new limits because the guidance was voluntary
The change in the alcohol directive marked the biggest turmoil for 30 years and was driven by new evidence that linked alcohol and cancer. The government has clearly told the industry that companies & # 39; were expecting & # 39; to update labels – and it even produced sample messages.
The Portman Group advised companies that labels should at least contain information about drinking during pregnancy, the number of units and the address of the Drinkaware website.
Katherine Severi, of the Institute of Alcohol Studies, said the change of approach & # 39; a win for the public & # 39; was – but warned that the industry cannot be trusted to regulate itself.
She added: "These proposals do not contain details about calories and ingredients, which means that shoppers who purchase alcohol receive less information than when they buy milk or orange juice."
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