The NZMA welcomes the introduction of mandatory pregnancy warning labels on all alcohol products.
On July 17 2020, New Zealand and Australian Ministers voted in favour of the introduction of an evidence-based health warning label on all alcohol products sold in both countries. The label will include the words ‘PREGNANCY WARNING’ in red, as well as a pictogram of a pregnant woman. The changes will make our pregnancy health warning label the strongest in the world.
The labels are intended to increase awareness of and support for alcohol-free pregnancies, resulting in the reduction and prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, as well as other labour and birth complications related to alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
The change in labelling has been lobbied for 20 years by Alcohol Healthwatch, following a successful petition in 2000 calling for a specific warning label on alcohol to inform pregnant women and protect their babies. The NZMA recently co-signed an open letter from Alcohol Healthwatch to Ministers of the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum for Food Regulation, urging them to mandate the warning labels in the July 17 vote.
The labelling changes will be adopted in New Zealand and Australia following a three year transition period. This will enable businesses to make the necessary changes to their labels and processes. An exact date is still to be set.
To see the open letter visit https://www.protectourfuture.org.nz/
For the full government press release, visit https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-mandatory-labelling-rules-alcohol-protect-kiwi-kids