The Portman Group slams “utter nonsense” alcohol labelling report

The Portman Group has criticised a new alcohol labelling report, which it said is "utter nonsense" and "based on out-of-date information". 

The Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA)'s latest report examined the labels on 424 alcohol products in shops across the UK to see if they provided the Chief medical Officer’s low-risk weekly guidelines and other essential information.

As a result of this the AHA said the voluntary approach adopted by the UK government and the drinks industry from 2016 had led to “poor and inconsistent practice”.

The "Drinking in the Dark" report said 24% of labels it looked at contained “misleading, out-of-date health information, such as old UK drinking guidelines”. It also said health information was often illegible.

However, John Timothy, chief executive of the regulatory body for alcohol, the Portman Group, said: “This report is utter nonsense, based on out-of-date information and the typical anti-alcohol ideology of the AHA who can’t stand the fact that the moderate majority can sensibly enjoy a drink and stick within the 14 unit guidance.

“Take just two of our Portman Group members, Heineken and Budweiser Brewing Group, who represent over half of the UK’s beer and cider market. They already carry full CMO guidance on over 60% of their products and they will have nearly completed the process by the end of the year.

“On nutrition information over 95% of products carry this on labels. Our members are leaders in the industry, ensuring that for over 30 years that the sector is responsible and in that time have seen significant declines in alcohol consumption, youth drinking, drink driving and alcohol related crime.”

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