Ireland to become first country in the world to put health warnings on alcohol The Republic of Ireland is set to introduce health warning labels on alcohol products.
Stephen Donnelly, the Irish minister for health, signed new regulations into law earlier this week, however, they will not come into force until 2026.
The Irish government said the regulations would bring alcohol products in line with requirements for food packaging. Labelling will warn consumers about the risks of drinking alcohol as well as providing a product’s calorie content and the number of grams of alcohol.
Mr Donnelly said: “I welcome that we are the first country in the world to take this step and introduce comprehensive health labelling of alcohol products.
“I look forward to other countries following our example.”
Consumers will be warned about the dangers of drinking while pregnant as well as the risks of liver disease and fatal cancers.
Ireland’s plan has faced protests from Italy, Spain and six other EU member states that have said it could cause problems within the single market.
In January, Italy’s ambassador to Ireland told Irish broadcaster RTÉ that the plans were “totally disproportionate”.
Ruggero Corrias said: “There is nothing wrong with the warnings, the point is the warnings should be proportionate and, in this case, since you’re talking about wine, saying that drinking alcohol on a bottle of wine causes liver disease is totally disproportionate.”
Dr Sheila Gilheany, the chief executive of Alcohol Action Ireland, welcomed the regulation.
She said: “This measure goes some way to ensuring consumers are informed about some of the risks from alcohol.”