The Australian liquor industry-funded organization DrinkWise is proposing the introduction of labels displaying new consumer warnings on alcoholic drinks. The warnings would include messages that alcohol should not be drunk by children, can cause self-harm and should be avoided by pregnant women. Some messages would read, “Kids and alcohol don’t mix”, “It is safest not to drink while pregnant”, and “Is your drinking harming yourself or other”. The labels also include the address of the drinkwise.com.au website.
DrinkWise Australia chair Trish Worth said, “There is some evidence overseas that labelling alone won't change everything, it needs education as well so that is why we are trying to bring the two together and bring people onto the website.” Psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg says the DrinkWise campaign is encouraging but he believes the organization should have consulted more widely before embarking on the label changes. He said, “I think what the industry are worried about is that the government might bring in more stringent, tougher labelling and might make them put them on all their advertisements as well…Now, I'm not opposed to what DrinkWise does - I think some of the stuff they do is very good - but a cynic would suggest they're just trying to thwart tougher regulations.”
The labels will be carried on about 80 per cent of alcohol containers. A government decision on mandatory warnings is not expected until the end of the year.