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Alcohol labels to carry unit warnings

Published:  23 July, 2008

The government is to introduce voluntary alcohol unit information on alcohol bottles by 2008.

Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), said: "The industry is committed to ensuring people have clear information on sensible drinking and that information is communicated in a way that is readily understandable, enabling people to make more informed decisions about their drinking choices and behaviour.

"Labelling by itself will not result in changing the behaviour of the minority who do misuse alcohol but can play a part a part in supporting wider government and industry initiatives to educate consumers.

"Many companies have already taken the decision to place unit information, a responsibility message and the drinkaware website address on their bottles and cans.

"The announcement is recognition that important progress has been and continues to be made. We are particularly encouraged by the government's decision to launch a major campaign to raise awareness of the sensible drinking message."

British Retail Consortium director general Kevin Hawkins added: "This is yet another practical demonstration of retailers' responsible attitude to selling alcohol. They have been actively involved in the development of this label and the concise and simple way to make informed decisions about how they enjoy alcohol."

Alcohol Concern believes the labelling has not gone far enough.