Ireland, wine like cigarettes: health risks on the label

Green light for ‘health warnings’ for all alcohol on sale

Bottles of wine as packs of cigarettes in Ireland. In fact, from now on, ‘health warnings’ could be present on the labels, those messages designed to signal the risks to consumers’ health. The legislation, which covers all alcohol from beer to liqueurs, will therefore allow warnings such as “alcohol consumption causes liver disease” and “alcohol and fatal cancers are directly linked” to be added to the label. The rule notified to the European Commission in June – explains the Unione Italiana vini (UIV) – at the end of December 2022 in fact dissociated itself from the moratorium period without encountering any opposition from the European executive body, despite the contrary opinions of Italy, France and Spain and six other EU countries.

“Brussels’ silent assent in Dublin relating to the health warnings on alcohol labels represents a dangerous leap forward by a member country”, comments the Uiv president, Lamberto Frescobaldi, according to whom “the European Commission’s failure to intervene now puts jeopardize the principle of free movement of goods within the Community and sets an extremely dangerous precedent in terms of labeling alarmist messages on wine consumption”.

“We fear that the Directorate-General for Health will want to adopt this approach at a European level in the coming months, leaving free initiative to individual member countries in the meantime, in order to clear customs systems adopted without a prior public debate at a European level. Today’s events – he said concluded Frescobaldi – mark a paradoxical and unmanageable scenario, made up of a babel of labels within the European Union which unfortunately do not solve the problem of alcoholism, which should be based on a responsible approach to the consumption of very different products” .

“A unilateral, discriminatory and disproportionate regulation”: this is the comment of Micaela Pallini, President of Federvini. bring measurable and effective benefits in the fight against irresponsible consumption”, continues President Pallini.

“We ask that the Italian Government take action as soon as possible to study every possible action, none excluded, to oppose a rule that contrasts with common sense and reality – concludes Pallini – perhaps the time has come for the issue to be dealt with at a political level within the EU, not alone but with European partners who have already expressed serious perplexity about this type of legislation. A stance is needed in the face of the silence of the European Commission.”

“Ireland’s decision to introduce a label for all alcoholic beverages, including Italian wine, is absurd. Despite the opposition of the European Parliament. A choice that ignores the difference between moderate consumption and alcohol abuse. I will ask the intervention of the EU Commission on the WTO”, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani commented on twitter.