New pregnancy warning labels on alcohol welcomed

Monday 20 July, 2020

Alcohol Change Victoria congratulates the Ministers on the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation for their decision to back an effective, visible health warning label on alcohol products which it says will help raise awareness of the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Ministers have voted in favour of a new label incorporating the colours red, white and black which are the colours found to be most effective for conveying a clear warning.

Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Erin Lalor, said it was a major win for future generations of children, as well as the many organisations and community advocates who have long been campaigning for a clear and effective label that warns people of the harm alcohol causes to unborn babies.

“We applaud the Ministers, in particular the Victorian Ministers, Jenny Mikakos and Jaclyn Symes, for prioritising the health and wellbeing of our children, families and communities and voting for an effective label. We believe this sends a very clear message that the health of babies is of paramount importance and should be considered above all else,” Dr Lalor said.

Alcohol exposure in pregnancy can cause a range of impairments to babies known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) – a permanent and lifelong disability. This can have a marked impact on the development of a child’s nervous system, while long-term studies show youth with FASD have high rates of mental health problems, learning difficulties and other impairments.

The alcohol industry will have three years to transition to the new labels.