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BMA Scotland calls for alcohol labelling legislation

03 October 2008
BMA Scotland calls for alcohol labelling legislation

The British Medical Association in Scotland has demanded that the Scottish Government introduces compulsory labelling on all alcoholic products.

BMA Scotland says legislation would help people understand and manage their drinking habits; give them guidance on recommended alcohol intake; and help combat binge drinking and the social problems caused by excess alcohol.

The BMA claims a voluntary code on drinks labelling, introduced in 1998, is not working and wants all containers of alcohol to carry a prominent common standard label outlining alcohol content. The call was timed to mark Scotland's Alcohol Awareness Week

But Patrick Browne, chief executive of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association dismissed the calls.

"As far as I understand, there has already been a voluntary agreement reached between the Government and the drinks industry concerning labelling, which the majority of drinks manufacturers have signed up for and which will come into effect by 2010," he said.

"There is no way that the Scottish Government can legislate for this before then - and there is little point in having separate legislation for Scotland when our drinks industry is aiming products at a UK market.

"There would also be cost issues here for separate labelling. This issue has already been dealt with effectively," he added.

Scottish BMA calls for compulsory labelling on alcohol>>

Alcohol tax hike unfair and no deterrent to binge-drinking>>

Alcohol warnings to appear on drink packaging>>
SBPA disputes doubling in Scottish drinking volumes>>

By Rosie Birkett

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