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Trans-Tasman Ministers Vote In Favour Of World’s Strongest Alcohol Warning Label

Celebrations will be held across New Zealand and Australia as the 20-year battle for an effective pregnancy health warning label finally comes to an end. Following today’s vote by Australian and New Zealand Ministers, alcohol producers have three years to include the world’s strongest pregnancy health warning label on their products and packaging, says Dr Nicki Jackson, Executive Director of Alcohol Healthwatch.

“The world watched and our Ministers have responded, showing leadership in doing the right thing. They have based their vote on the science and as a result we will finally have a best practice health warning label that provides a strong, consistent and visible warning message of the lifelong harms that can result from alcohol use during pregnancy. To our knowledge, this is the only pregnancy health warning label in the world that includes both a pictogram and specific text, with the warning heading required to be in red so that it attracts attention,” continues Dr Jackson.

By voting in favour of the evidence-based label, Ministers will leave behind an amazing legacy by preventing many New Zealanders being born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and the subsequent daily challenges and distress that their families often face as a result of the lifelong disability.

“This mandatory health warning label will also assist the range of actions we are already taking to support alcohol-free pregnancies. It will be seen by everyone, encouraging discussion and enabling long-term changes in social norms. Each one of us plays an important role in supporting healthy pregnancies.”

“In the last 20 years, we have walked alongside families and practitioners calling for change. So whilst we celebrate this decision, we also recognise and honour the many Australians and New Zealanders that have struggled, and continue to struggle, with the lifelong disability of FASD. We also wish to thank the 58 organisations and 600+ individuals that signed the open letter urging Ministers to vote for the best practice label. By doing so, they played a vital role in protecting future generations from harm,” concludes Jackson.

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