Drinks industry asked to come up with alcohol labelling proposal
(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission has given the alcoholic drinks industry a year to develop a self-regulatory proposal that will provide information on ingredients and nutrition of all alcoholic beverages.
The decision follows the EU executive's adoption Monday of a report on the mandatory labelling of the list of ingredients and the nutrition declaration for alcoholic beverages.
"This report supports the right of people in the European Union to be fully informed about what they drink," said the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis.
"Moreover, it does not identify any objective grounds justifying the absence of the list of ingredients and nutrition information on alcoholic beverages," he said. "The expansion of voluntary initiatives from the sector has already been ongoing and is brought to the fore in the report".
The EU Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers (1169/2011), applicable from December 2014, includes rules on listing ingredients and providing a nutrition declaration. These rules are mandatory for all foods, including alcoholic beverages. There is an exemption, however, for beverages containing more than 1.2% alcohol per volume.
Such information is nevertheless provided by some producers on a voluntary basis. Furthermore, a number of Member States have maintained, adopted or proposed national measures imposing additional labelling requirements on ingredients for all or certain alcoholic beverages. Draft national rules on food labelling have to be notified and assessed by the Commission before their possible adoption.
The alcoholic drinks industry now needs to propose within a year a harmonised approach aiming to provide consumers with information about the ingredients present in alcoholic beverages and the nutritional value of alcoholic beverages.
This proposal will then be assessed by the Commission. Should the Commission consider the self-regulatory approached proposed by the industry as unsatisfactory, it would then launch an impact assessment to review further available options in line with Better Regulation principles.