Government Approves Voluntary Nutrition Information on Alcohol Labels

The U.S. Treasury Department announced alcohol manufacturers can place nutrition labels on beer, wine and spirits. The labels are voluntary, according to the Associated Press.

The labels will include information such as calories, servings per container, serving size and carbohydrates. Some alcohol companies want to use the labels to display low calories and carbohydrates. Beer companies may be less likely to use them, because they don’t want to emphasize how many calories their products have, the article notes. Some winemakers won’t want the labels to detract from the appearance of their bottles.

Michael Jacobson, Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said alcohol manufacturers should be required to list alcohol contents on the label. He said in a statement, “Including fat and carbohydrates on a label could imply that an alcoholic beverage is positively healthful, especially when the drink’s alcohol content isn’t prominently labeled. In this era of obesity, calorie labeling is critically important to inform or remind consumers that alcoholic drinks are not ‘free’ when it comes to calories. Finally, a really useful alcohol label would state the government’s definition of moderate drinking as no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.”

Currently, alcohol makers do not have to list ingredients on the label, but they must list substances a person could be sensitive to, such as sulfites, aspartame and certain food colorings.

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