New standard drink logos to be introduced on alcohol
New alcohol labelling will alert drinkers to the number of standard drinks they are consuming, NSW Minister for Health John Hatzistergos and Australian Government Parliamentary Secretary for Health Christopher Pyne announced.
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The Hon Christopher Pyne MP15 May 2006
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for Health and Ageing
The Hon John Hatzistergos MLC
New South Wales
Minister for Health
New alcohol labelling will alert drinkers to the number of standard drinks they are consuming, NSW Minister for Health John Hatzistergos and Australian Government Parliamentary Secretary for Health Christopher Pyne announced today.
Mr Hatzistergos and Mr Pyne said they hoped the new label would assist people to consume alcohol more responsibly.
They said information about the number of drinks was currently on alcohol labels, but often proved difficult to read.
But the new logos, voluntarily introduced by the alcohol industry, will make drink numbers much easier to track.
The new logos will appear as:
- A schooner glass on beer labels
- A wine glass on wine bottle labels
- A spirit tumbler on spirit containers.
Mr Hatzistergos and Mr Pyne congratulated the alcohol industry for adopting this responsible approach and particularly acknowledge the work of the Australian Associated Brewers, Winemakers Federation of Australia and the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia.
"The need for an industry-wide approach to clearer labelling of standard drink information was a key recommendation of the 2003 NSW Summit on Alcohol Abuse," Mr Hatzistergos said.
"Having raised it as an issue of importance with the Ministerial Council in 2004, it is pleasing to see that industry has responded so positively to this initiative."
Mr Hatzistergos said the labelling is expected to be introduced over the next year.
"To monitor the uptake of the logos by manufacturers, the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy has asked the alcohol industry to report back on their progress by May 2007," he said.
Mr Pyne said he hoped the labelling will make it easier for people to see standard drink numbers and be more motivated to count their drinks and stay in the low risk category of the Australian Alcohol Guidelines.
"Men should not drink more than four standard drinks a day on average - and never more than six," he explained
"Women should not drink more than two standard drinks a day on average, and never more than four.
"Everyone should have one or two alcohol-free days every week."
Mr Hatzistergos said the labelling initiative has been before the Ministerial Council since November 2004, when the NSW Special Minister of State first proposed that a national standard drink logo for alcohol products be developed.
"This was in response to initiatives arising from the August 2003 NSW Summit on Alcohol Abuse," he said.
"Since then, both the Special Minister of State and myself, with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, have worked with representatives of the beer, wine and spirits industry to develop a standard drink logo that could be taken up by the industry on a voluntary basis."
Media contact: Adam Howard (Mr Pyne) 0400 414 833
Clair Cameron (Mr Hatzistergos) 0409 240 137
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