Portugal wants alcohol warning labels to ‘show the benefits too’

Portuguese and Italian officials have hit out at Ireland’s plans to include health warnings on alcohol products which link drinking to a higher risk of developing cancer, with Portugal suggesting they should “show the benefits too.”

The Irish government had proposed health warnings should take up one third of the space on a alcohol product’s label.

Health warnings about alcohol, its ingredients, calories and links to cancer were set to take up a third of the space on alcohol labels last year when Simon Harris — Ireland’s minister for Health — accepted amendments to the country’s alcohol labelling laws back in December. The country had to notify the European Commission of the change back in January.

But a new submission to the Commission said that warning consumers about the negative impact of drinking without highlighting its potential positives could “distort reality”, while Italian officials warned that more severe warnings would raise the cost of exporting wine to the country, reports the Times.

It argued that including a link to cancer on warning labels creates an inherently biased viewpoint for the consumer, making it more difficult to make an informed choice.

“It should be noted that labels about cancer do not enable consumers to have a proportionate perspective of the effects of moderate alcohol consumption, thus it is considered that consumers must have complete information about the impact of alcohol consumption on health,” it said.

The submission also said that a number of other everyday products and lifestyles raise the risk of cancer, including red meat, prosecced meat, and “long shift work.”

However, government-funded charity Alcohol Action Ireland said that the changes to legislation would not affect exports from Portugal as it “only prescribes what warnings, regulated by law, should be placed on products sold within Ireland.”

4 Responses to “Portugal wants alcohol warning labels to ‘show the benefits too’”

  1. Next will be accepting a 3 page ‘terms of agreement’ prior the bottle cap unlocking…

  2. Diogo F. says:

    Well done Ireland, I am from Portugal and applaud your initiative. Many will follow, including my country Portugal. Alcohol is worst than tobacco. For sure it has shown some benefits too but ONLY when drink very moderately and for wines only. Portugal produces tons of good wines still being discovered by the world and has many corporate interests for such legislation not passing but I hope it does.

  3. I feel that all alcoholic drinks should be banned from advertising on the tv and other media. You don’t need to hard-sell your product; people can find what they want, buy it and enjoy it.
    Think of those desparate individuals – all over the world, innocently drinking alcohol until they became alcoholics. For their sake, especially when they are trying to learn to keep off alcohol, stop the advertising! This really is a matter of life and death. Thank you.

  4. Dirk Scott says:

    1.25 million people are killed and 25-50 million injured each year by …road accidents. Are we going to have big labels on each car to tell us the risk? Why does the english speaking world have this obsession with warning labels and signs? Once you have cluttered the place up with them everyone ignores them. Mindless do-goodery is just a sop so that officials can say they have “done something” even if what they did was pointless.

Leave a Reply to Dirk Scott Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Marketing Manager

Amathus Drinks Plc
London, UK

Partner Manager - Manged On-Trade

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

Brand Manager

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire

Events Sales Executive

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Head of Sales

IWSC
London, UK

Logistic and Fullfilment - Whisky (and wine) administrator

Stilnovisti Ltd
London, United Kingdom // Dufftown, Keith, United Kingdom

Account Manager

Harviestoun Brewery
Field Based, UK

Buyer - Spain & South America

Enotria&Coe
London, UK

Events Sales Manager

Enotria&Coe
Field based - London or surrounding area

Argentina Breaking New Ground Masterclass Series

Edinburgh,United Kingdom
18th Oct 2018

IBWSS China

Shanghai,China
5th Nov 2018

Exploring Beaujolais Wines Across The Years & Appellations

Manchester,United Kingdom
6th Nov 2018
Click to view more

Green Awards 2018

Deadline : 19th October 2018

Rioja Masters 2018

Deadline : 26th October 2018

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters 2018

As with all of the drinks business awards, our judging panel is comprised of Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and senior buyers making the competition globally renowned.

Champagne Masters 2018

Enter your wines into the Champagne Masters 2018, the only blind competition dedicated to Champagne in the UK.

Click to view more