Pregnancy warning labels on alcohol coming

Warning labels about the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy will soon be mandatory. For the past six years, warning labels highlighting the potential harm of maternal alcohol consumption on foetuses have been voluntary for alcoholic beverage producers.

The decision to make the warning labels mandatory was made in October at the Australia New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation in Adelaide.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of pregnancy complications and can cause permanent damage to the brain and body of the developing foetus.

Annually, between 650 and 3000 babies in NZ are born with brain damage caused by prenatal alcohol exposure, according to Alcohol Healthwatch executive director Nicki Jackson. “We are glad to see the well-being of children has come first,” Dr Jackson says.

Alcohol Healthwatch media release, October 2018

First published: Dec 2018

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