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CFA calls for “Alcohol Facts” labeling

By Caroline Scott-Thomas , 04-Jan-2012
Last updated on 04-Jan-2012 at 16:32 GMT

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has renewed a call for nutrition facts labeling on alcoholic beverages, which it says was agreed by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in 2007.

The TTB agreed to draft a proposed rule for standardized “Alcohol Facts” labels on beer, wine and spirits four years ago, the CFA said, but it has not moved forward with that proposal. The CFA, an association of non-profit consumer organizations, said it would like to see standardized labels on alcoholic beverages, including the serving size, number of servings per container, percentage of alcohol by volume and the amount of alcohol per serving, as well as calorie information.

Director of the Food Policy Institute at the CFA Chris Waldrop said: “Consumers need basic information about alcohol content to help them drink in moderation as recommended by the federal government and numerous health groups. For example, consumers need to know that a 12 ounce bottle of beer has generally the same amount of alcohol as a 5 ounce glass of wine and 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.”

No one from the TTB responded to requests for comment prior to publication.

The CFA said that has also urged the TTB to require alcoholic beverages to carry a statement defining “moderate” drinking, as specified by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the definition of a standard drink. It claims that alcohol labeling could be a tool to help tackle alcohol abuse and drunk driving, as well as obesity.

“Alcoholic beverages can contribute a significant amount of calories to the diet,” Waldrop said. “Unfortunately for consumers wanting to watch their weight during the holidays, they aren’t able to turn to the label to get the information they need, like they can with other food products.”

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans define moderate drinking as up to one drink per day for women, and up to two drinks per day for men.

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