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Home > Minister Brady announces public consultation on Alcohol Labelling proposals.

Ireland. Department of Health and Children. [Department of Health and Children] Minister Brady announces public consultation on Alcohol Labelling proposals. (08 Sep 2009)

Ms Áine Brady, T. D., Minister for Older People and Health Promotion will tomorrow (9 September 2009) announce the commencement of a public consultation on proposals to introduce legislation for the placing of health advice/warnings about the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy on all alcoholic drink containers and promotional materials. It is also proposed to include a provision which will require that the amount of pure alcohol in each container (bottle or can) will be clearly indicated.

Following the public consultation phase the Department of Health and Children will finalise its proposals for legislation. The commencement of the public consultation is coinciding with International Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day which takes place on the 9th day of the 9th month each year (9th September).

The Minister also wishes to renew the advice on the consumption of alcohol in pregnancy. “Everyone is aware about the advice not to smoke but there is much less awareness about the advice not to consume alcohol during pregnancy. Given the harmful drinking patterns in Ireland and the propensity to “binge drink” there is a substantial risk of neurological damage to the foetus resulting in Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Alcohol offers no benefits to pregnancy outcomes.” the Minister said. The new legislation on alcohol labelling is intended to increase awareness of the advice and to ensure that people will be better informed about what is being consumed.

A person having any concerns in relation to alcohol consumption in pregnancy should contact their General Practitioner or local maternity service provider.

Background

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is the umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can be caused by maternal alcohol exposure. Children identified as suffering from FASD show signs of behavioural, intellectual and physical difficulties including learning difficulties, poor language skills, poor memory skills and attention problems.

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