Lead by:Australian Government Department of Health and New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries
Enquiries:Assistant Secretary, Drug Strategy Branch - DSB.email@example.com
Details:In its 9 December 2011 response to the Labelling Logic: Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy (the Review) Report, the Legislative and Government Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) stated its intention to provide the alcohol industry a two-year period to adopt voluntary initiatives to place pregnancy warnings on labels of alcohol products before regulating such a change.
An evaluation was undertaken at the end of the two year period and a report provided to the Forum.
On 27 June 2014 the Forum announced:
Ministers considered the evaluation of the action taken by the alcohol industry in Australia and New Zealand in placing pregnancy warnings on alcohol products. Ministers noted that the overall percentage of products with a pregnancy health warning label was encouraging, in particular the wine, beer and cider industries, but that there is a wide band of variability across product types. In particular Ministers noted and expressed concern with the low uptake in the mixed alcoholic beverages or ready to drink category. In light of these results the Forum agreed to extend the existing trial on voluntary uptake of pregnancy health warnings on alcohol product labels, and to undertake a review in two years. Ministers agreed to continue to work with industry to ensure increased uptake particularly with companies where the uptake is lower such as the ready to drink industry. This approach recognises the work already undertaken by the industry to place warnings on products and also takes into account the longer turn-over of labels in some areas. Work with industry on consistent and effective messaging in this area will also continue, acknowledging that work to inform and target at risk consumers should be part of a broader strategy, including community education and targeted advice to women who are pregnant or planning pregnancy.
The Australian Government Department of Health is expecting to commence a second evaluation process of the voluntary initiative of pregnancy warning labels on alcohol products in the coming months and is in the process of preparing advice for the Health Minister. It was not possible to commence this second evaluation until the further 2 year voluntary period had concluded, in June 2016.
It is expected that the same methodology for the evaluation undertaken in 2013-14 will be used for this second evaluation process. The Department anticipates that the report will be available for Food Ministers in 2017.