Wednesday, August 1, 2007

New propsed label requirements

The Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has proposed new label requirements for beer, wine and liquor to include not only the percent of alcohol by volume but also calories, fat, protein and carbohydrates as found in "serving facts" for all foods. The government is taking this issue very seriously and the Treasury Department went as far to post the following statement when the rule was proposed "We believe that this information should be presented to consumers in a uniform, standardized format that is prominent on the label, so that consumers may easily avail themselves of this important information".

Their are many proponents of this ruling such as The Beer Institute, the brewers' national lobby, who has stated that consumers already know what they need or smaller wineries and breweries who worry that the information requirements will cost more money and crowd label designs. One very public descending voice from the industry is Diageo PLC, owners of Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Guinness, believe that consumers overwhelmingly want nutrition information. Guy Smith, executive vice president at Diageo PLC, called the proposal "a giant and very positive step in the right direction" for the alcohol industry. "Overwhelmingly people want this kind of information on the package. This is the year 2007, and it ought to be on there," Smith said. "Our industry has not changed as quickly as it probably should have", said Smith.

It seems that in the new millennium, especially since the public at large is quite concerned with diet and the medial implications of drinking, that the industry should take steps to to inform the consumer as much as possible on their products. It wouldn't take all that much to redesign the packaging to include basic nutrition information and since all food items require this kind of information why shouldn't beer, wine and liquor.

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