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06.2008

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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archivedHealth

WHAT’S in a LABEL

THE DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL commended consumer and public health groups for calling on the Federal government’s Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau to include basic dietary information on the labels of all beverage alcohol products. The groups calling for the government action at a National Press Club press conference included MADD, Consumer Federation of America, Dr. C. Everett Koop’s Shape Up America!, and National Consumers League.
“We agree with public health organizations and consumers groups that alcohol per serving and standard drink information should be on any serving facts panel – not just the amount of calories, fat, carbohydrate, and protein,” said Peter H. Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council.
Under the TTB’s proposed Serving Facts label, companies would not be required to disclose the amount of alcohol per serving. The proposal would also prohibit a company from including on the label how much alcohol is in a standard drink, as defined by the US Government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the basis for nutrition policy in the United States. This standard drink information is used by federal and state agencies, including the Office of the Surgeon General, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in state driver’s manuals. “The current government proposal fails the consumer and important public health objectives,” Cressy added.
The Council joined the public health community in urging TTB to revise its current proposal so that: 1 Serving sizes are 1.5 fluid ounces for 8O-proof distilled spirits, 12 fluid ounces for beer, 5 fluid ounces of wine, 2 The amount of alcohol per serving is required to be disclosed in the Serving Facts panel; and 3 The text in the panel states “a standard drink contains O.6 fluid ounces of alcohol”.
“Knowing how much alcohol is in a serving of beer, wine or spirits – and how that alcohol content relates to a standard drink – helps consumers make responsible drinking decisions,” said Cressy.

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