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Consumer/Health Groups Call for Meaningful Change in How Treasury Department Regulates Alcohol Labeling
Date:12/12/2008

of America. "It's time to end the confusion by giving Americans the same helpful and easily accessible labeling information that is now required for conventional foods, dietary supplements, and nonprescription drugs."

George Hacker, Director of CSPI's Alcohol Policies Project, called on TTB, which regulates alcohol labeling, to develop labels that will be helpful to consumers in measuring and moderating their alcohol consumption. "The Food and Drug Administration, which has administered the development of comprehensive nutrition labeling on foods and non-alcoholic beverages, has substantial expertise in constructing and designing labels that consumers will understand and use. TTB should consult with FDA and rely on its experience in generating effective consumer labels."

Documenting the public health need for TTB action, the letter summarizes the consensus among nutrition, medical and substance abuse experts that ready access to labeling information is an important tool for reducing alcohol abuse, drunk driving, and the many diseases attributable to excessive alcohol intake. This includes the facts needed to follow the Dietary Guidelines' advice that men who choose to drink limit their consumption to two drinks a day and that women restrict their consumption to one drink per day. As stated in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, the consumption of alcoholic beverages may have beneficial effects for some consumers when consumed in moderation, but alcohol is a significant source of calories and can increase the risk for hypertension, liver disease and certain cancers, as well as injury if consumed in excess.

"There is no debate within the public health and nutrition community about the need for mandatory and complete alcohol labeling," said Dr. Barbara J. Moore, President and CEO of Shape Up America! "Today's labeling requirements for alcoholic beverages are outdated and they don't demonstrate the
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SOURCE Shape Up America!
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