Still no warning labels on alcohol one year on

  • Post category:News

NO LABELS have yet been put on alcohol products sold in Ireland containing health warnings about drinking during pregnancy, despite the recommendations of a report a year ago.


Elish O’Regan. May 13, 2013

A wider range of intellectual and physical disabilities can happen in babies born to mothers who drank alcohol at some time in the pregnancy.

These are commonly grouped together under the umbrella term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Health Minister James Reilly said a study partly funded by the HSE was under way in the Coombe Women’s Hospital in Dublin.

The study initially screened women for alcohol intake in pregnancy with a view to counselling them accordingly.

The study examined the records of 61,241 women who booked for ante-natal care and delivered between 2000 and 2007. It found that 81pc of women reported alcohol consumption during the peri-conceptual period; of these 71pc reported low alcohol intake (0-5 units per week), 9.9pc moderate intake (6-20 units per week) and 0.2pc high intake (over 20 units per week).

“There was one case of FASD in each of these three categories of peri-conceptual drinkers. As well as this retrospective case note study a prospective study is currently under way to examine the incidence of foetal alcohol effects on a longitudinal basis.”

The report of the National Substance Misuse Strategy Steering Group recommended that labels of alcohol products sold in Ireland should include health warnings in relation to consuming alcohol in pregnancy, he said.

He promised that: “Real and tangible proposals are currently being finalised on foot of the recommendations in the National Substance Misuse Strategy report. These proposals cover all of the areas mentioned in the report, including the labelling of alcohol products and prevention and intervention activities on alcohol.”