Sun, 10 Dec 2023

DUBLIN, Ireland: Ireland will become the first country in the world to require health warnings be placed on all alcohol products.

The new regulations were signed by Ireland health minister Stephen Donnelly on Monday.

New labels will need to include information about the health risks of drinking alcohol, as well as the calories in alcohol drinks.

However, according to the new regulations, the labels will only become mandatory in May 2026.

In explaining the new requirements, the Irish government said the label regulations would bring alcohol products in line with requirements for all other food packaging.

"I welcome that we are the first country in the world to take this step and introduce comprehensive health labelling of alcohol products," Donnelly said, as quoted by Sky News.

"I look forward to other countries following our example."

Requirements call for the labels to warn of the dangers of drinking while pregnant, as well as drinking alcohol leading to potentially fatal cancers and the risks of liver disease.

However, eight EU countries have protested Ireland's plans to place warning labels on alcohol products, claiming it could cause problems within the single EU retail market.

The new rules would require all EU countries to label their alcohol products if sold in Ireland.

Italy's largest farming association, Coldiretti, has described the "terrifying" warnings as a "direct attack."

"The green light from the European Union for alarmist wine labels in Ireland represents a dangerous precedent, as it risks opening the door to other legislation capable of negatively influencing consumer choices," it said in a statement.

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