European brewers are shocked by Ireland’s plans to put extensive health warnings on alcohol products.
According to umbrella organisation Brewers of Europe, the World Health Organisation has not yet figured out the exact extent to which alcohol is harmful to health, so the Irish are talking out of turn. Several countries are calling for measures that are less disruptive to trade.
The Irish government announced that labels would include information not only on calorie counts and alcohol, but also on drinking during pregnancy and the risk of liver problems and cancer.
“Introducing this measure raises unjustified barriers to trade,” argues Brewers of Europe. As a result, the organisation says, brewers will have to decide whether to accept the extra cost of the labels specifically for Ireland, “or simply leave the Irish market altogether”.
Beer brewer Heineken says it fully agrees with Brewers of Europe’s statement.