Skip Page Header

Home > What's not on the bottle? Brief overview of state of play in alcohol labelling.

European Alcohol Policy Alliance. (2011) What's not on the bottle? Brief overview of state of play in alcohol labelling. Brussels: Eurocare.

[img] PDF (What's not on the bottle?) - Published Version
[img] PDF (Eurocare position paper on health warnings) - Supplemental Material
[img] PDF (Preliminary library of alcohol health information and warning labels) - Supplemental Material

Eurocare has developed an update of overview of labeling initiatives, which was first compiled in 2009. We hope that this material will be useful for further discussions on the subject of alcohol labeling. Providing full information about the product should be an obligation to ensure consumer rights are respected by alcohol producers.

Product labels can serve a number of purposes, providing information about the product to the consumer, enticing the consumer to buy the product and warning consumers of dangers and health risks from the product.

Providing full information about the product enables consumers to make informed choices and ensures that the consumers know what is in the product they are investing their money into.

Listing the ingredients contained in a particular beverage alerts the consumer to the presence of any potentially harmful or problematic substances. Even more importantly, providing the nutritional information such as calorie content allows consumer to monitor their diets better and makes it easier to keep a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, today sulphite is the only allergen required to be listed compulsorily although many other allergens can be present.

One of the objectives of the public bodies should be to protect people effectively from the risks and threats that they cannot tackle as individuals. Last year the European institutions have passed legislation that requires food and any other soft drinks i.e. water to list its nutritional information and ingredients. However, alcohol was exempted from this provisions.

Allowing the alcohol industry not to provide full information on the labels of their products is yet another missed opportunity for reducing alcohol related harm.

Eurocare believes that alcohol producers should provide information not only on ingredients, but also about the risks associated with alcohol consumption: damages to health (liver cirrhosis, cancers) risk of dependence, dangers associated with drinking alcohol during pregnancy, when driving, operating machinery and when taking certain medication.

Labelling should be part of a comprehensive strategy to provide objective information. Consumers have the right to know of the ingredients contained in beverages.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Report
Drug Type
Intervention Type
General / Comprehensive, Prevention, Harm reduction
December 2011
24 p.
Corporate Creators
European Alcohol Policy Alliance
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
Related URLs

Repository Staff Only: item control page