19 June 2019: Responding to the Labour Party announcing plans for strict alcohol labelling as part of its alcohol strategy, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said:
“We are encouraged by today’s announcement by Jonathan Ashworth that alcohol labelling that will help consumers make informed choices would become mandatory under a Labour Government.
“It has been more than three years since the UK Chief Medical Officers introduced revised low risk weekly drinking guidelines of 14 units a week for both men and women. However, this information is still not displayed on most alcohol containers, nor any information about the health risks associated with alcohol. Alcohol increases our risk of seven types of cancer, yet only one in ten people link alcohol consumption to cancer.
“We all have a right to know what we are drinking so that we can make informed choices. The current voluntary scheme relying on industry goodwill is not working. That is why we need Government intervention to require companies to display the official drinking guidelines, prominent health warnings and information on ingredients, nutrition and calories on alcohol labels. The vast majority of the public support these measures. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction; however, we should not need to wait until a general election but instead urge the Government to act now so that drinkers are no longer being kept in the dark.”