Page last updated: March 28, 2017

French winemakers protest over double-size warning labels for pregnant women

Wine producers in France are angry at government proposals to double the size of a warning label on alcohol, advising pregnant women not to drink. The warning consists of the silhouette of a pregnant woman holding a glass inside a red circle with a diagonal line through it. The government wants to enlarge it to a minimum of 1 centimetre instead of 0.5 cm as at present. Winegrowers in Bordeaux say the move is unnecessary, complaining that they were not consulted. Hervé Grandeau, of the Bordeaux Wine Producers’ Federation, said producers recognised the risks during pregnancy, but this was a ‘half-baked measure’ and a ‘misplaced attempt to salve the conscience’ of the authorities. Warnings were introduced in 2007 after several mothers of babies diagnosed with foetal alcohol syndrome sued the government for failing to alert them to the dangers. But Mr Grandeau said: "There has been no study of alcohol consumption by pregnant women since the warning came in. We don't know if it works."

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