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After 10 years, Treasury Department issues voluntary rules for alcohol labeling

I wondered the other day why there’s so little information on wine bottles about what’s in the wine.

It’s taken the Treasury Department 10 years to issue interim regulations on alcohol labeling, and unfortunately, they’re only voluntary.

In a 2003 petition to the department, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the National Consumers League, and other organizations asked for a mandatory label that made calories, alcohol by volume, and servings per container easy to see.

The groups also asked the agency to require companies to disclose ingredients in alcoholic beverages.

Including fat and carbohydrates on a label could imply that an alcoholic beverage is healthy, especially when the drink's alcohol content isn't prominently labeled, the center said.

Since obesity rates are so high in America, calorie labeling is very important to inform or remind consumers that alcoholic drinks aren’t "free" when it comes to calories.

In addition, the center thinks that a useful alcohol label would state the government's definition of moderate drinking as no more than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men.

Copyright 2013, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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