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European Commission - Press release, 13 March 2017
The European Commission adopted today a report on the mandatory labelling of the list of ingredients and the nutrition declaration for alcoholic beverages.
Following the conclusions of the report, the Commission has decided to invite the alcoholic beverages' industry to develop, within a year, a self-regulatory proposal aiming to provide information on ingredients and nutrition of all alcoholic beverages.
Commissioner for Health and Food Safety,Vytenis Andriukaitis said: "This report supports the right of people in the European Union to be fully informed about what they drink. Moreover, it does not identify any objective grounds justifying the absence of the list of ingredients and nutrition information on alcoholic beverages. The expansion of voluntary initiatives from the sector has already been ongoing and is brought to the fore in the report".
Labelling of alcoholic beverages in the EU
The EU Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers (1169/2011) which became applicable in December 2014 includes rules on listing ingredients and providing a nutrition declaration. These rules are mandatory for all foods, including alcoholic beverages. There is an exemption, however, for beverages containing more than 1.2% alcohol per volume.
Such information is nevertheless provided by some producers on a voluntary basis. Furthermore, a number of Member States have maintained, adopted or proposed national measures imposing additional labelling requirements on ingredients for all or certain alcoholic beverages. Draft national rules on food labelling have to be notified and assessed by the Commission before their possible adoption.
Following today's report, the industry should propose within a year, a harmonised approach aiming to provide consumers with information about the ingredients present in alcoholic beverages and the nutritional value of alcoholic beverages. This proposal will be assessed by the Commission. Should the Commission consider the self-regulatory approached proposed by the industry as unsatisfactory, it would then launch an impact assessment to review further available options in line with Better Regulation principles.
A copy of the report is available on this site. See: COM(2017) 58 final - REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL regarding the mandatory labelling of the list of ingredients and the nutrition declaration of alcoholic beverages