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Greens welcome Govt support for alcohol labelling

28 February 2005

Greens welcome Govt support for alcohol labelling

Green MP Nandor Tanczos is welcoming Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor's announcement today that compulsory alcohol safety labelling will be introduced if the industry's proposed voluntary scheme doesn't work.

Speaking at the 'Alcohol Policy Roundtable' at Parliament, Mr O'Connor said he expects to soon see 'mock ups' of the industry's proposed labelling warning of the dangers of drinking while pregnant.

"Its good news that the Government is willing to introduce a compulsory scheme if the voluntary scheme doesn't take," said Nandor, the Green Party's Drug Law Reform Spokesperson and one of the hosts of today's Roundtable.

"A danger with a voluntary approach is that it may downplay the impact of alcohol on society. We've heard today that alcohol is a causal factor in around 60 types of illness, injury and death, so its essential that combating its abuse is taken seriously. "In particular, research now indicates there is no safe alcohol limit for pregnant women, so labelling that warns about the dangers of foetal alcohol syndrome has to be hard line.

"While Mr O'Connor's support for labelling is good, it will only work if its part of a broader, coordinated package. The Government must also look at a ban on alcohol advertising on TV and better enforcement of sales rules, particularly the current age limit.

"Whether the scheme is voluntary or compulsory, the labelling of imported alcohol products is also going to have to be addressed," said Nandor.


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