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Consumer/Nutrition Groups Urge Obama Administration and Congress to Update Alcohol Policies for the 21st Century
Date:4/23/2009

unity about the need for mandatory and complete alcohol labeling," said Chris Waldrop, Director of the Food Policy Institute at the Consumer Federation of America. "It's time to give consumers the same helpful and easily accessible labeling information that is now required for conventional foods, dietary supplements and nonprescription drugs."

Although TTB's 2007 actions were roundly criticized, the advocacy groups believe the record in the current rulemaking is sufficient for the agency to act now to issue a final alcohol labeling regulation in 2009. The advocates also urge TTB to consult with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the most effective format and graphic design for the "Alcohol Facts" label.

George Hacker, Director of CSPI's Alcohol Policies Project, said: "TTB has had a comprehensive response to its haphazard rulemaking to develop labels that will be helpful to consumers in measuring and moderating their alcohol consumption. The agency should accept the guidance it has received and find the political will to act."

From a public health perspective, the advocacy organizations also urge HHS and USDA to provide detailed information on what constitutes a "standard drink" and the calorie content of popular "non-standard" mixed alcoholic drinks when the departments issue the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2010. The reason, according to the advocates, is insufficient information in the marketplace for consumers to know what constitutes a "standard drink" -- 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1.5 ounces of 80-proof (40%) distilled spirits -- and to understand that standard serving sizes of beer, wine and spirits are equal in alcohol strength and their effect on the body. As a result, research finds nearly 20 percent of current drinkers regularly consume more than the up to two standard drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women that the Dietary Guide
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SOURCE Shape Up America!
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