Alcohol Action Ireland, the national independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm, today (Wednesday, 22 June) welcomes the Irish government’s notification of Draft Regulations under Section 12 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 to the European Commission.
The draft Public Health (Alcohol) (Labelling) Regulations 2022, as published by the Minister for Health, will enable the commencement of labelling of alcohol products and notices in licensed premises.
These will ensure that no alcohol product can be sold without bearing a warning that informs the public that :
(i) “Drinking alcohol causes liver disease”
(ii) displays a health symbol intended to inform the public of the danger of alcohol consumption when pregnant, and
(iii) “There is a direct link between alcohol and fatal cancers”
In addition, the regulations make it mandatory that the alcohol and calorie content within the product is stated, and that the public health alcohol information website ‘askaboutalcohol.ie’ is displayed.
Commenting on the publication of the draft regulations, Eunan McKinney, Head of Communications, Alcohol Action Ireland, said:
This is a very important development in what is a very slow process. These national labelling regulations recognise that citizens have the right to know the inherent risk from alcohol use – a right currently denied. By providing consumers with accurate, convenient and timely information on product, that is both conspicuous and prominent, citizens will be better able to make informed choices.
Notes to Editor
The notification, under the EU TRIS process, is available here:
According to Directive (EU) 2015/1535 Member States must inform the Commission of any draft technical regulation prior to its adoption. Starting from the date of notification of the draft, a three-month standstill period – during which the notifying Member State cannot adopt the technical regulation in question – enables the Commission and the other Member States to examine the notified text and to respond appropriately.
Under the current EU framework legislation on labelling: REGULATION (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, alcohol products above 1.2% ABV are exempt. The same Regulation provides that Member States may adopt measures requiring additional mandatory particulars for specific types or categories of foods, justified on grounds of at least one of the following: (a) the protection of public health; or (b) the protection of consumers.
The 2022 regulations, once commenced by the Minister for Health, provide the alcohol producers with a further three years production lead in time.