CMO Guidelines Announcement
As you will be aware, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) published a review of the lower risk alcohol guidelines on Friday (8 January 2016). Alongside this, the Department of Health launched a consultation on the proposed new guidelines to determine, among other things, how they could best be communicated to the public.
Any changes obviously have significant implications for consumers and for you as producers who have collectively labelled over 80% of products on shelves with the current lower risk drinking guidelines.
In terms of new labelling advice, there is no simple, immediate answer. This DH consultation does not close until 1 April 2016 and there will be further delay while the Government considers the responses. Therefore, it will be some months before we have clarity on communicating guidelines to consumers. The best advice we can give in the interim is not to make any major unplanned changes to your labels until we get this clarity and the outcomes of the consultation are known.
We are keeping this under continual review and will be in touch with the Department of Health in the coming months.
Please contact the Advisory Service on 020 7290 1460 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions.
Chief Executive, Portman Group
UK alcohol companies have pledged to implement an innovative health labelling scheme to provide more information about responsible drinking on alcohol labels and containers.
This voluntary scheme is the first of its kind in Europe and has been developed in conjunction with the UK Department of Health. Drinks companies have pledged to display the number of units, the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines and a pregnancy warning on 80 percent of drinks containers on shelves in the UK off-trade by the end of December 2013.
From 13 December 2014 the 2011 Food Information Regulation will come into force, replacing the 1996 Food Labelling Regulation.
As always, the Portman Group Code of Practice operates alongside the law and the Advisory Service cannot provide legal advice on legislation.
If you require information about the legislative changes the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has created a guidance document which can be accessed here.
Alternatively, Trading Standards will shortly be releasing a guide on the provision of food information to consumers in line with the Food Information Regulation. If you require more detailed guidance we would recommend contacting your Local Trading Standards service.
The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) has a reference table which provides an overview of alcohol labelling requirements in various countries, to view the table please click here.