The EU Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF), which aims to tackle alcohol-related harm, should come to an end because its stakeholders have not been able to find common ground, the outgoing EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis has said.
The European spirits industry has called on Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner-designate for health, to revive the European Alcohol and Health Forum, which has been inactive since 2015 after twenty public health NGOs decided to pull out.
The European Commission is pushing for a “quick fix” solution to the alcohol labelling deadlock before the end of its mandate, a Commission official close to the issue told EURACTIV.com.
A group of MEPs has called on the European Commission to turn down an industry proposal on alcohol labelling, claiming that alcoholic beverages should no longer enjoy a preferential regime compared to other foodstuffs.
Scotland on Tuesday (1 May) introduced minimum pricing for alcohol, in what First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hailed as a "bold" and "brave" policy move that has endured years of legal battles.
The alcohol industry presented on 12 March their self-regulatory proposal on labelling, focusing on “flexibility” for wine, beer, spirits and cider. Alcohol makers will be free to decide whether to place information on the label, online or both.
Consumer needs and expectations should be the main drivers in defining alcohol labelling, a European Commission spokesperson told EURACTIV.com when asked about the effectiveness of online labelling, an option the alcohol industry wants to introduce.
Nutritional information should be clearly marked on the labels of alcohol products, and the off-label proposals being put forward by industry are not sufficient, writes Professor Markus Peck-Radosavljevic.
Producers will decide how best to convey alcohol information – either on the label and online or just on the internet, EURACTIV.com has learnt.
It takes willingness from all sides in order to make the EU's Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF) effective, a European Commission official has said, urging businesses and health NGOs to return to the discussion table.