May 22, 2023 -The Republic of Ireland is set to introduce health warning labels on alcohol products.
Stephen Donnelly, the Irish minister for health, signed new regulations into law on Monday but they will not come into force until 2026.
Labelling will warn consumers about the risks of drinking alcohol as well as providing a product’s calorie content and the number of grams of alcohol.
The Irish government said the regulations would bring alcohol products into line with requirements for food packaging.
Mr Donnelly said: “I welcome that we are the first country in the world to take this step and introduce comprehensive health labelling of alcohol products.
“I look forward to other countries following our example.”
Consumers will be warned about the dangers of drinking while pregnant as well as the risks of liver disease and fatal cancers.
In January, Italy’s ambassador to Ireland told Irish broadcaster RTÉ that the plans were “totally disproportionate”.The Italian government has expressed concerns over its lucrative wine industry
Wine production remains a major export industry in Italy.
Ruggero Corrias said: “There is nothing wrong with the warnings, the point is the warnings should be proportionate and, in this case, since you’re talking about wine, saying that drinking alcohol on a bottle of wine causes liver disease is totally disproportionate.”
Dr Sheila Gilheany, the chief executive of Alcohol Action Ireland, welcomed the regulation.
She said: “This measure goes some way to ensuring consumers are informed about some of the risks from alcohol.”