Page last updated: Thursday, January 24, 2008
Australian and New Zealand - warning labels for pregnant women
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is inviting comment on the concept of putting pregnancy warning labels on beers, wines and spirits. The application has been proposed by the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC) but would also apply in Australia if ultimately approved.

Under the scheme “suppliers would be required to place a label on alcoholic beverage containers advising of the risks of consuming alcohol when planning to become pregnant and during pregnancy,” the regulator said in a statement.

“ALAC’s reasons include the view that health advisory labels would enhance national strategies for discouraging drinking while pregnant and that no level of alcohol consumption has been determined to be safe for the foetus.”

They estimate that 1% of Australian babies are born with some degree of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines written in 2001 advise pregnant women to drink no more than two standard drinks a day and less than seven a week.

They also “may consider not drinking at all”, as new draft guidelines currently under consideration advise that abstinence is the safest option.

FSANZ will accept public submissions on the proposal until February 6 before deciding whether to disregard it or allow it to be assessed further.

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