Irish drinks manufacturers have criticised the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, for failing to address concerns about the advertising and labelling proposals in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.
The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) says that Harris has not 'meaningfully engaged' with the manufacturers who will be impacted by the new legislation.
The Bill is proposing to introduce mandatory health warnings on all alcohol products sold in the Republic of Ireland, which means that companies would have to produce a specific label for the Irish market.
The ABFI claims that the proposed measures will severely undermine drinks businesses in Ireland, and is calling for a balanced approach to be taken to the advertising and labelling proposals.
“The drinks industry is a great Irish success story, with globally recognised quality brands, exports worth over €1 billion and strong prospects for the future," said Patricia Callan, director of ABFI.
“Yet the Government seems to be taking all of this for granted. Minister Harris and the Department of Health continue to ignore drinks businesses, as it pushes through legislation that will effectively stall and potentially reverse this growth, acting as a huge barrier to entry."
“It should be noted that the drinks industry fully supports measures to target alcohol misuse and underage drinking, but it is critically important that measures are targeted and based on evidence," added Callan. "This is not the case at the moment.”
Last week, the Irish Wine Association warned that mandatory cancer warning labels on alcohol products would have a 'devastating effect' on the country's wine industry, leading to less choice and higher prices for consumers.
© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Sarah Harford