Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ)’s decision to design their own pregnancy warning label is short-sighted and will see costs passed to the consumer for very little health gain.
“Our industry has made it very clear to FSANZ that we support making the existing voluntary pregnancy labelling scheme mandatory. This decision is a bitter disappointment – these new labels will impose costs of another $ 400 million*, for no significant improvement in health outcomes,” says CEO of Alcohol Beverages Australia, Mr Andrew Wilsmore.
Industry made close to 100 submissions to FSANZ all arguing against their design proposal. These legitimate concerns have all been ignored.
“According to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 98.8% of women either abstain or reduce their alcohol consumption when pregnant (up from 96.6% in 2004), indicating high levels of awareness of the risks of drinking alcohol while pregnant.”
FSANZ has previously acknowledged** there is no evidence that warning labels change behaviour of “at-risk” groups.
“So many of our growers and producers are struggling after the bush fires, droughts and flooding. The last thing they need is a big bill from bureaucrats wanting to enforce their own artwork onto a label,” says Mr Wilsmore.
*2008 Pricewaterhouse Coopers Report for FSANZ identifying an average cost of $ 9000 to $10,000 for a major label change
**2001 Rejection of Application A359- Requiring Labelling to Alcoholic Beverages with a Warning Statement
+ video link: https://youtu.be/ScOPAGjRBkM
Kerri Osborne, Media and Communications Manager
Ph: 0418 513 372