According to a recent decision made at the Australia New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation in Adelaide, alcohol producers in New Zealand and Australia will be forced to add warning labels to their products relating to the risks of drinking during pregnancy.
It was agreed that, based on the evidence, a mandatory labelling standard for pregnancy warning labels on packaged alcoholic beverages should be developed and should include a pictogram and relevant warning statement. The forum requested Food Standards Australia New Zealand to develop this mandatory labelling standard as a priority and that the work be completed expeditiously.
The alcohol industry in both countries has applied pregnancy warning labels to packaged alcoholic beverages on a voluntary basis since late 2011 and the forum recognised the efforts of a large segment of the sector, including many small businesses, in voluntarily adopting pregnancy labelling.
In recognition of these efforts, the forum called for comprehensive consultation and appropriate transition timelines and stock-in-trade exemptions on new arrangements.