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Thursday, 20 September 2007
Page: 195

Mr McClelland asked the Minister for Health and Ageing, in writing, on 7 August 2007:

Has the Government considered establishing a requirement for the labelling of alcoholic beverages; if so,

(a)   what reports, if any, have been received in respect of the benefits of labelling and

(b)   what is the Governments intention in respect of the labelling of alcoholic products.

Mr Abbott (Minister for Health and Ageing) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

The Commonwealth Government has not considered establishing labelling requirements for alcoholic beverages at this point. The Commonwealth Government has however recently supported and endorsed the “standard drink” logos developed by industry as a voluntary labelling initiative.

In respect of (a) there have been no specific reports produced for the Commonwealth Government on the benefits of labelling alcoholic beverages.

In respect of (b) the Commonwealth Government co-ordinates its approach to labelling of alcoholic products through Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

FSANZ, the joint Australian and New Zealand agency responsible for food labelling in both countries, is currently considering an application to require information on low risk drinking levels on alcoholic beverage containers.

Further steps may be considered in light of the outcomes of the current review of the National Alcohol Guidelines being undertaken by the NHMRC. The development of any strategies emerging from the review will be shaped by the National Alcohol Strategy 2006-2009.