Australian and New Zealand consumers had a significant victory on 17 July 2020 when, by a majority vote, the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation decided that there should be a mandatory standardised pregnancy warning label on alcoholic beverages. There will be a 3 year implementation period.
Currently, provision of a pregnancy warning label is voluntary and the wording, font size, colours, etc. are not regulated.
This is the new mandatory pregnancy warning label:
The new label was proposed by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) after extensive consumer testing of other designs.
The most recent FSANZ report on the issue is available here.
Queensland Consumers Association spokesperson, Ian Jarratt, said “The consumer movement in Australia and New Zealand has been campaigning for many years for an effective mandatory pregnancy warning label on alcoholic beverages. So, this is an important victory that will be of great benefit to consumers given the many and significant harms caused by pregnant women consuming alcohol.”
The Association participated in the campaign which was coordinated by the Foundation for Alcohol Education and Research.
The Association strongly welcomes this recognition by the regulator and politicians that, to be effective, written information aimed at helping consumers make informed decisions has to be:
- easy to notice, read, understand and use; and
- displayed consistently.
Ian Jarratt Queensland Consumers Association