Claims and warnings on alcohol labels

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has scheduled public hearings on whether health claims should be allowed on alcoholic beverages. BATF is also considering whether the negative consequences of imbibing would make health-related statements misleading and therefore should be disqualified.

The hearings will be held in five major cities from April through August. BATF is accepting written or e-mail comments until Sept. 29, 2000.

Similarly, some 120 public health, consumer, safety, and child-protection organizations and four members of Congress submitted a petition to BATF calling for more conspicuous and readable health and safety warnings on labels of alcoholic beverage containers. The petition calls for the health warning to be clear and conspicuous, appear in a prominent place on the front of the label and be printed horizontally.

The petition also calls for these highly visible labels to be printed in black or red type on a white background and contain a lined border. The warning message, says the petition, should contain an icon to draw attention to the message and be printed in upper and lower case type.

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