Labelling decision shows health ministers put booze before babies

Australia’s leading alcohol research and education body has condemned Australia’s health ministers for kowtowing to the alcohol industry and putting booze before babies with its decision to not mandate pregnancy warnings on alcohol products.

The Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), Michael Thorn, said the decision is disgraceful.

“This decision reflects poorly on all of Australia’s health ministers,” Mr Thorn said.

“They have put alcohol industry interests ahead of public health and the evidence that effective health warning labels will raise awareness about the risks of consuming alcohol during pregnancy.

“The alcohol industry will be celebrating that they have been able to successfully avoid introducing a warning label on their products for almost two decades, since the first application was made to Food Standards Australia New Zealand about introducing a pregnancy warning label.”

Mr Thorn said that Governments have clear advice before them that effective labelling on alcohol products is a cost-effective measure that can prevent babies being born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

FARE will now seek meetings with health ministers to seek to have the decision overturned.

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