Warning labels on alcohol products – Irish Times

Sir, – Dr Michael Loftus fails to acknowledge the disproportionate nature of cancer warning labels and the hugely damaging impact they will have on Ireland’s food and drinks industry (July 27th).

No other country in the world has mandatory cancer labels on alcohol products, and therefore such a measure applies a stigma to products made in Ireland.

Furthermore, these labels will cause barriers to trade both in and out of Ireland and will undermine the single market within the European Union.

Irish producers will be required to develop labels specifically for the Irish market and a second set of labels for elsewhere, which will impact on their ability to export.

Additionally, producers and distributors which supply products to Ireland will have to create labels specifically for the Irish market, which will also be costly and logistically difficult, so many will simply not export to Ireland. Ireland is a small market, so it would make little sense to make such drastic provisions for it.

We would argue that any labelling measures should instead be introduced on a pan-European basis, which is exactly what drinks companies across the EU are currently working towards, with a new EU-wide commitment to provide more nutritional and ingredient information, in conjunction with the European Commission.

There is no need for Ireland to go it alone on alcohol labelling when new labelling provisions are being considered at an EU level.

At a time when the future of international trade is uncertain, with Brexit and trade wars, the Irish Government should not create an additional barrier to trade.

While we as an industry support the objectives of the Alcohol Bill, to tackle harmful and underage drinking in Ireland, we are opposed to cancer warning labels and believe that the objectives of the Alcohol Bill could be achieved through

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