The Irish government has announced the introduction of a new alcohol-labelling law.
The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, has signed into law the Public Health (Alcohol) (Labelling) Regulations 2023 and the remaining provisions of Section 12 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act.
Section 12 and the labelling regulations together introduce comprehensive health labelling of alcohol products sold in Ireland and provide that similar health information be made available to customers in licensed premises.
The law provides that the labels of alcohol products will state the calorie content and grams of alcohol in the product. They will warn about the risk of consuming alcohol when pregnant and about the risk of liver disease and fatal cancers from alcohol consumption.
There is a three-year lead-in time built into the law, in order to give businesses significant time to prepare for the change. The law will apply from 22 May 2026.
‘A Better Understanding’
In a statement, Minister Donnelly said, “This law is designed to give all of us, as consumers, a better understanding of the alcohol content and health risks associated with consuming alcohol. With that information, we can make an informed decision about our own alcohol consumption.
“Packaging of other food and drink products already contains health information and, where appropriate, health warnings. This law is bringing alcohol products into line with that.
“I welcome that we are the first country in the world to take this step and introduce comprehensive health labelling of alcohol products. I look forward to other countries following our example.”
‘A Right To Be Told’
The Minister of State for Public Health, Well-Being and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton, added, “Everyone has a right to be told about the risks associated with a product before we consume it.
“This law is designed to ensure all consumers of alcohol have access to clear and concise information about the risks from alcohol.
“The medical evidence is clear that a cancer risk applies, even at lower levels of alcohol consumption.”
The labels will direct the consumer to the HSE website, askaboutalcohol.ie, for further information.
Read More: SpiritsEUROPE Calls For Investigation Into Irish Alcoholic Labelling Rules
© 2023 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. For more drinks news, click here. Click sign up to subscribe to Checkout.