The public health community is greatly disappointed about the SpiritsEurope approach to label their products. In our view, the European spirits industry refrains from informing consumers at the point of sale in an easy and accessible manner.
Instead of following the EU Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, the spirits industry is granted a non-binding self-regulatory approach providing information about energy on label and information on ingredients and nutritional value online on the responsibledrinking.eu website or via QR codes. However, in our understanding, the website provides insufficient information.
For example, on rum, it displays the following ingredient list: Rum Water Sugar (if used) Colour: plain caramel (if used) ‘European doctors are convinced that labels of all alcohol products should include nutritional information and health warnings. Adequate labelling is one way to protect the health of the population. Consumers may not realise that many alcoholic beverages contain a lot of sugar. This fact shouldn’t be hidden somewhere online’ stated Prof. Dr Frank Ulrich Montgomery, President of the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME).