Pregnancy warning labels to be mandatory on booze in New Zealand

Drive 13/10/2018
Photo: iStock.

Alcohol companies will now be required to include pregnancy warning labels on their products under new Government rules.

The Ministry of Health warns there is "no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy" and the effects of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder are irreversible.

If we can prevent one or two cases of this a year, this is all worthwhile.

Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor called the new rules “effectively a social marketing campaign” he hopes will spread the word about the dangers of drinking while pregnant.

“It’s part of an education process,” Mr O’Connor told RadioLIVE.

While many alcoholic beverages already have a warning label, but Mr O’Connor says labels need to be clear and consistent under the mandatory rules going forward.

The new rules were decided at the Australia New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation in Adelaide on Thursday. Australia will also adopt the changes.

New Zealand and Australia now share a policy that other countries have already implemented, like the United States and France.

“If we can prevent one or two cases of [fetal alcohol spectrum disorder] a year, this is all worthwhile,” said Mr O’Connor.

Listen to the full interview with Damien O'Connor above.

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