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P1050 – Pregnancy warning labels on alcoholic beverages

May 2020

Review of P1050

The Australian and New Zealand governments advise women not to consume alcohol during pregnancy.

On 17 February 2020, FSANZ notified Ministers responsible for food regulation (the Forum) of its decision to approve an amendment to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) to require a pregnancy warning label on packaged alcoholic beverages sold in Australia and New Zealand.

On 20 March 2020, the Forum requested FSANZ review the amendment on the grounds that it places an unreasonable cost burden on industry. See the Forum communique and notice of publication of the request on the Food Regulation website.

In line with the Forum's request, FSANZ is re-examining industry cost estimates, with particular reference to colour requirements and signal wording, and is seeking further information from certain alcohol industry associations. Based on the specific grounds for the review, broad public consultation is not being undertaken.

FSANZ has until 22 June 2020 to notify the Forum of the outcome of its review.

The Forum will have 60 days to consider FSANZ's review report and decide whether to accept, amend or reject the amendment to the Code.  FSANZ's review report will be publicly available soon after the Forum has been notified.

Approval documents

Approval Report PDF 2.2 MB | WORD 2.8 MB 

2019 call for submissions

A public call for submissions on a proposed approach for pregnancy warning labels was released on 4 October 2019 and closed on 27 October 2019.

FSANZ considered all submissions received in response to public consultation. Key changes to the requirements for the pregnancy warning label are:

  • Requiring the colour red instead of the specific Pantone 485 red colour for the circle and strike-through of the pictogram and signal words
  • Revising the warning statement to Alcohol can cause lifelong harm to your baby from Any amount of alcohol can harm your baby.

Consultation documents and submissions received by FSANZ are available below.

Submissions

P1050 Submissions [ZIP 82.1 MB]

Late Submissions

P1050 Late Submissions [ZIP 2.69 MB] 

Call for submissions – 4 October 2019 (pdf 1.8 mb) | (word 976 kb) 

Background to Proposal P1050

The Australian and New Zealand governments advise women not to consume alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol exposure during pregnancy can result in the baby being affected by a range of physical, cognitive, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disabilities, collectively known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). FASD is a life-long disability which significantly impacts individuals, families and the wider community.

FASD is preventable by avoiding alcohol consumption during pregnancy. However, available data show that approximately 25% of women in Australia and 20% of women in New Zealand continue to consume alcohol while pregnant. Available evidence indicates that when combined with other public health initiatives, pregnancy warning labels can contribute to increased awareness of the risks of drinking alcohol while pregnant and encourage behaviour change. It can also contribute to the development of social norms to support this behaviour change.

Since 2011, the alcohol industry has implemented a voluntary pregnancy warning labelling scheme. However, following evaluations in 2014 and 2017, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) agreed that, based on the evidence, a mandatory labelling standard for pregnancy warning labels on packaged alcoholic beverages should be developed and should include a pictogram and relevant warning statement.

In October 2018, Forum ministers requested FSANZ consider mandatory pregnancy warning labelling on packaged alcoholic beverages (read the communique from the meeting). In response, FSANZ commenced work on Proposal P1050 in November 2018.

Further information:

 

 


Administrative Assessment (pdf 222 kb)
| (word 63 kb)

Further information:

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