Alcohol producers still “dragging their heels” on pregnancy label warnings

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 23rd April 2018

Alcohol producers are still “dragging their heels” when it comes to displaying pregnancy warning labels and need to start using them The Brewers Association of Australia has said.

The Brewers Association of Australia, which represents alcohol companies CUB, Lion and Coopers, has publicly called for those not displaying pregnancy warnings to start doing so as a matter of urgency.

Label warnings informing pregnant women should not drink alcohol were first introduced in Australia six years. The labels are voluntary to display.

Brewers Association CEO, Brett Heffernan, said a voluntary system is an opportunity for industry to demonstrate that it is responsible and responsive.

“After six years of voluntary pregnancy labelling it is bewildering that so many are still dragging their heels and giving the whole industry a black eye,” Heffernan said.

“Any alcohol produced in Australia since 2012 could, and should, bear the warning label by now.

“There is simply no excuse for any further delay in adopting pregnancy warning labels on all alcohol products made in Australia. We are calling on all industry players to fix it.”

Heffernan said research commissioned by DrinkWise shows 89 per cent of young Australian adults can recall seeing the pregnancy warnings on alcohol labels.

“According to the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 55.6 per cent of pregnant women in Australia do not drink alcohol at all,” Heffernan said.

“The data points to an encouraging trend of continual improvement, up from 40 per cent in 2007.

“Among the 44.4 per cent of women who did consume alcohol while pregnant, 97.3 per cent were having no more than 1-2 standard drinks over the course of their pregnancy. While the trends are very positive, there is still more to do.”