The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse want labels to be introduced on alcohol to warn consumers about the harmful effects of drinking. It is asking political parties to commit to a total of 10 recommendations to help minimise alcohol related issues in the UK.
The document of recommendation says:
“Health warnings are a familiar and prominent feature on all tobacco products. Likewise, detailed nutritional labelling is ubiquitous on food products and soft drinks. Yet consumer information on alcohol products usually extends no further than the volume strength and unit content.
“In order to inform consumers about balanced risk, every alcohol label should include an evidence-based health warning as well as describing the product’s nutritional, calorific and alcohol content.”
The MPs also included recommendations regarding alcohol marketing, a reduction in the drink drive limit and a mandatory minimum price per unit for alcohol.
Conservative MP Tracey Crouch, a chairwoman of the group, says the facts and figures surrounding alcohol misuse speak for themselves. Currently 1.2 million people a year end up in hospital because of alcohol related problems. On top of this, liver disease in under-30s has more than doubled over the last couple of decades and the cost of alcohol to the nation’s economy now totals £21bn.
Ms Crouch says by getting political parties to commit to the 10 measures suggested, they will be taking a big step in tackling this huge public health issue.
A government spokeswoman commented to say that they are taking action to both reduce excessive alcohol consumption and offer better information about the impact alcohol can have on your health. She also pointed out that through the Responsibility Deal the drinks industry have committed to putting messages about health and units on 80% of all bottles/cans. The spokeswoman also pointed out that they have now banned alcohol sales below the level of duty (plus VAT) in an attempt to tackle the very worst cases of cheap and harmful alcohol.