All breweries in Australia and New Zealand will soon be required to reserve space on their beer labels for mandatory pregnancy warnings after the policy was sanctioned in Adelaide today.
Health ministers from all Australian States and Territories, plus representatives from New Zealand, agreed to the logos being instated for next year. The warnings will be applicable to all packaged alcohol.
It means another government message on all cans and bottles with many States also implementing container deposit schemes that require their own label messages.
And with some breweries also keen to display association logos then there will be considerable real estate on packaged beer dedicated to external messages.
WA’s Minister for Health Roger Cook has long pushed for the new mandatory measures, arguing current voluntary measures are inconsistent, ineffective and putting lives of unborn children at risk.
“We know alcohol is harmful to unborn babies so increasing awareness of the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is essential,” Cook said shortly after the decision was taken at the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation in Adelaide.
"We now have a national commitment to this initiative which is aimed at reducing the harmful effects and incidence of FASD (Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder) in our community.
Following the decision, Food Safety Australia and New Zealand will develop a suitable warning message and pictogram.
Lion has applied a pregnancy warning logo to some of its products for several years.
However, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education has made its own recommendations to governments for what the logo should look like.