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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Alcohol and nutritional labeling on beer, etc.

From Tuesday's Washington Post:

Alcohol Labeling Proposal Sets Off a Brawl

After more than 30 years of deliberation, federal regulators have proposed requiring the alcoholic-beverage industry to put nutrition and alcohol-content labels on their containers <...>

Pushed by consumer groups, the U.S. Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for the first time would mandate disclosure of how many carbohydrates and calories and how much protein and fat alcoholic drinks contain, as food labels do. How and where to disclose alcohol content is generating heat.

Salient points from the article:
  • Groups representing consumers have weighed in, too, asking for a label that expresses alcohol content by volume and in fluid ounces by serving.
  • A key issue is the amount of alcohol in a drink, which the proposal makes optional. Distillers prefer a standard measure of 0.6 ounces in a 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor.
  • Jeff Becker, president of the Beer Institute trade group opposes this comparison because, unlike a 12-ounce beer, there is no standard measure for how much liquor, and thus how much alcohol, goes into a drink.
  • The alcohol industry is a $160 billion industry.
  • Any labeling requirement would not take effect until three years after a final rule is published.
  • The comment period ends this Sunday.
Rest of the article here.

[UPDATE here.]

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