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Alcohol labelling

31-Oct-2017Alcohol labelling

On 24 November 2017 Australian and New Zealand Ministers with responsibility for food regulation, known as the Forum on Food Regulation (the forum), will be considering alcohol pregnancy warning labels. We seek your support by writing to the Health and Food Ministers in your state or territory to ask them to immediately commence the process of mandating proper pregnancy warning labels on all alcohol products.

There is a real prospect that Forum members are prepared to end the alcohol industry’s failed and grossly inadequate voluntary consumer information scheme.

We need your help to make this a reality.

Please send the sample letter below and send to your Ministers.  (For those in Qld and in view of the just announced State Election and the caretaker status of the Government, we are recommending you write to the Commonwealth Minister, Dr David Gillespie.)

Why this issue is important

  • In 2011, Ministers agreed that alcohol warning labels should be pursued, but allowed the alcohol industry a two year trial period “…to introduce appropriate labelling.”[i] This timeframe was extended in 2014 for another two years.

 

  • Recent testing (2016) found that the DrinkWise label (‘It is safest not to drink while pregnant’) was misinterpreted by consumers with 38 per cent of those surveyed believing it meant that it was okay to consume alcohol during pregnancy.

 

  • Alcohol health warning labels promote health messages in ways that other health initiatives do not, at point of sale and at point of consumption.

 

  • There is a clear regulatory process for food labelling (alcohol is considered a food in this instance) in Australia and New Zealand, this is through Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

 

  • A labelling standard has not yet been produced, one details the size, location and wording of the label. FSANZ is the only organisation that can do this and needs to be tasked by the Forum to commence the process to implement mandatory alcohol health warning labels.

 

  • Continued delay and the continued allowance of labels that confuse or are misinterpreted by consumers is dangerous to the health and lives of future generations.

Thank you

 

TEXT HIGHLIGHTED IN YELLOW ARE PROVIDED AS A GUIDE. PLEASE DELETE BEFORE SUBMITTING.

DATE

 

 

The Hon Name Surname [SW1] 

Position

Address

SUBURB STATE  Postcode

 

 

Dear[SW2]  Salutation

MANDATORY ALCOHOL PREGNANCY WARNING LABELS

I/we am/are writing about the meeting taking place on 24 November 2017 between Australian and New Zealand Ministers with responsibility for food regulation, known as the Forum on Food Regulation (Forum). I/we ask Forum members to immediately commence the process of mandating proper pregnancy warning labels on all alcohol products.

In 2011 the Forum agreed that alcohol warning labels should be pursued, but allowed the alcohol industry a two year trial period “…to introduce appropriate labelling.”[i] This timeframe was extended in 2014 for another two years.

The alcohol industry’s voluntary trial has clearly failed. Testing of the DrinkWise label (‘It is safest not to drink while pregnant’) in 2016 found that the label was misinterpreted by consumers with 38 per cent of those surveyed believing it meant that it was okay to consume alcohol during pregnancy.[1This is highly dangerous; alcohol is not like other products, it is associated with considerable harm, particularly when consumed during pregnancy. Consumers have a right to be informed about these dangers.

It is time the Ministerial Forum tasked Food Standards Australia and New Zealand to immediately develop a regulatory standard for alcohol product labelling. This includes the standard of wording, consumer testing and application of labels including the size, colour and placement on products.

Further delays will result in more babies being born who have been exposed to alcohol in-utero, many of whom will have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

INCLUDE INFORMATION HERE ABOUT:

  • YOUR EXPERIENCE/KNOWLEDGE OF FASD
  • HOW YOU BELIEVE CONSUMERS HAVE A RIGHT TO BE INFORMED

OR DELETE THE SECTION HIGHLIGHTED IN YELLOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE IT TO BE A GENERIC SUPPORT LETTER.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO ADD

Forum on Food Regulation Ministers

WWhen writing to your Minister/s please copy and paste the entire address block and use the salutation provided. 

Commonwealth


The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP                            david.gillespie.mp@aph.gov.au    

Assistant Minister for Health

PO Box 6100 Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Salutation: Dear Dr Gillespie



The Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP                               luke.hartsuyker.mp@aph.gov.au

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister

PO Box 6100 Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Salutation: Dear Mr Hartsuyker


ACT


Ms Meegan Fitzharris MLA                                                                 

Minister for Health                                          fitzharris@act.gov.au

GPO Box 1020

CANBERRA ACT 2601


Salutation: Ms Fitzharris


NSW


The Hon Niall Blair MLC                            niall.blair@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Minister for Primary Industries

Level 30 
Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place

SYDNEY NSW 2000


Salutation: Dear Mr Blair


The Hon Brad Hazzard MP                               wakehurst@parliament.nsw.gov.au
Minister for Health

Level 31
Governor Macquarie Tower 
1 Farrer Place

SYDNEY NSW 2000


Salutation: Dear Mr Hazzard


NT


The Hon Natasha Fyles MLA                                 Minister.fyles@nt.gov.au           

Minister for Health

GPO Box 3146

DARWIN NT 0801


Salutation: Dear Ms Fyles


QLD 


(Due to the QLD election please send letter to          david.gillespie.mp@aph.gov.au

David Gillespie Commonwealth Minister instead)

The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP

Assistant Minister for Health

PO Box 6100 Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Salutation: Dear Dr Gillespie


SA


The Hon Peter Malinauskas MLC                   Minister.Health@health.sa.gov.au

Minister for Health

GPO Box 2555

ADELAIDE SA 5001

Salutation: Dear Mr Malinauskas

The Hon Leon Bignell MP                                 ministerleonbignell@sa.gov.au

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries

GPO Box 1671

ADELAIDE SA 5001

Salutation: Dear Mr Bignell

TAS

The Hon Michael Ferguson MP               michael.ferguson@parliament.tas.gov.au  

Minister for Health

PO Box 537

LAUNCESTON TAS 7250

Salutation: Dear Mr Ferguson

      

Vic

The Hon Jill Hennessy MP              minister.health@health.vic.gov.au  

Minister for Health

Level 22  
50 Lonsdale Street

MELBOURNE VIC 3000


Salutation: Dear Ms Hennessy


The Hon Jaala Pulford MLC     jaala.pulford@parliament.vic.gov.au                

Minister for Agriculture

Level 16 
8 Nicholson Street

EAST MEBOURNE VIC 3002

Salutation: Dear Ms Pulford   

        

WA


 The Hon Roger Cook MLA           Minister.Cook@dpc.wa.gov.au

Minister for Health

13th Floor 
Dumas House 

2 Havelock Street

WEST PERTH WA 6005

Salutation: Dear Mr Cook

                                          





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