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Diageo welcomes plans for nutritional alcohol labels

Published:  23 July, 2008

USA: Diageo has welcomed the Department of the Treasury move to force the alcohol industry to put alcoholic content, serving sizes and nutritional information on all alcoholic drink packaging.

Guy Smith, executive vice-president at Diageo PLC, the owners of Smirnoff and Guinness, said this was a "giant and very positive step in the right direction," for the alcohol industry.

"Overwhelmingly people want this kind of information on the package," he said.

The Washington-based US Treasury Department, today (1 August 2007) launched a public consultation to introduce a new rule for all alcoholic beverages - from beer cans to wine bottles - to include information about the drink's percentage of alcoholic by volume.

The labels would also include "serving facts" panel, which would list the number of calories by carbohydrates, fat and protein for a standard serving size.

Companies could also choose to disclose the amount of pure alcohol, or ethyl alcohol, per serving.

Currently spirits and wine labels must include at least the percentage of alcohol by volume, but that information is not allowed on beer labels except in states that require it.

The consultation launched by the Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau will end on 29 October.

If the rule is accepted, the Treasury will make information labels mandatory within three years.