Wine world news

In Ireland, allarmistic health warnings on labels

The green light in Ireland to “health warnings” on wine, the notices on labels with alarmist warnings about health damage, according to the Italian Wine Union marks an extremely dangerous precedent on labeling; for Federvini it is discriminatory legislation that does not distinguish between abuse and consumption.

Green light for health warnings for wine, beer and spirits in Ireland, which will be able to include warnings such as “alcohol consumption causes liver disease” and “alcohol and deadly cancers are directly linked” on alcohol labels. In fact, the rule, which was notified to the European Commission in June, cleared the moratorium period at the end of December 2022 without encountering opposition from the European executive body, despite opposing views from Italy, France and Spain and six other EU countries.
For the president of Unione italiana vini (Uiv), Lamberto Frescobaldi: “Brussels’ silence assent to Dublin regarding health warnings on alcohol labels represents a dangerous flight forward by a member country. According to UIV, the European Commission’s failure to intervene jeopardizes the principle of free movement of goods within the EU and sets an extremely dangerous precedent when it comes to labeling alarmist messages about wine consumption. We fear that the Directorate General for Health wants to adopt this approach at the European level in the coming months, leaving in the meantime free initiative to individual member countries, in order to clear systems adopted without prior public debate at the European level. Today’s events,” Frescobaldi concluded, “mark a paradoxical and ungovernable scenario, made up of a Babel of labels within the European Union that unfortunately do not solve the problem of alcoholism, which should be based on a responsible approach in the consumption of very different products.
A unilateral, discriminatory and disproportionate regulation – this is the comment of Micaela Pallini, President of Federvini – A unilateral system that splits the European single market, a discriminatory way because it does not distinguish between abuse and consumption and criminalizes products of our Mediterranean civilization without bringing measurable and effective benefits in the fight against irresponsible consumption. We ask that the Italian government take action as soon as possible to study every possible action, none excluded, to oppose a norm that goes against common sense and reality – Pallini concludes – perhaps the time has come for the issue to be dealt with at the political level in the EU, not alone but with the European partners who have already expressed serious perplexity about this type of legislation. A stance is needed in the face of the European Commission’s muteness.

For Cia-Agricoltori Italiani, the scenario that is now unfolding is disconcerting, with a move that clears the decision-making autonomy of individual EU countries and undermines the work done so far at the EU level under the Cancer Plan, precisely to protect the health of citizens, but without demonizing the moderate and responsible consumption of wine, which must be clearly distinguished from abuse.

So, Cia expresses its disappointment not only with respect to the Irish warnings “alcohol consumption causes liver disease” and “alcohol and deadly cancers are directly linked,” but also with respect to the European Commission, which seems to be showing its side to easy wine-cigarette associations, leaving unheeded the contrary opinions of Italy, France, Spain and six other EU countries, and also jeopardizing the principle of free movement of goods in Europe.

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