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Article | June 30, 1996
Mandatory alcoholcontent labels?
Once again Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) is taking aim at the licensed beverage industry, introducing legislation designed to curb the promotion of alcoholic beverages.
In addition to stiff requirements on advertising the bill requires alcoholic beverage container labels to disclose alcohol content by volume and the number of drinks per container. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) has received petitions and suggestions for changes to the labels of licensed beverages. Proposals have run the gamut from including the calorie content by volume to listing where a beer is manufactured says a BATF spokesperson. (For more on beer labeling see "Brewers getting 'fresh'" p. 22.) A recent Supreme Court decision reversed a longstanding BATF rule prohibiting listing product strength on labels. The ban was instituted at the end of Prohibition in the belief that listing alcohol strength would encourage drinkers to choose a stronger product. Ironically Kennedy would require listing for the opposite reason as a warning of strength though he recently admitted on CNN's Burden of Proof that he doesn't believe the disclaimer will stop many people.
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