“Alcohol consumption causes liver disease” and “alcohol and fatal cancers are directly linked” are the labels that will be featured on wine, beer and spirits on sale in Ireland. Dublin is the first capital in the world to impose information on the health risks associated with the consumption of certain beverages, despite the concerns raised by various trading partner countries and numerous European and national trade associations.
The rule was notified in June in Brussels, which – with the moratorium period which expired at the end of December 2022 – gave the green light to the national authorities to make the provision effective. The approval from the EU had aroused the opposite reaction – above all – from Italy, France and Spain, who fear it could be an obstacle to the internal market. The law will apply after a three-year transition period, thus fully entering into force from 22 May 2026. “I am delighted that we are the first country in the world to take this step and introduce comprehensive health labeling of alcohol products, I don’t see I can’t wait for other countries to follow suit,” said Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly. For Dublin, the labels will help reduce the heavy consumption of alcohol in the country, considered a real national health emergency.
But according to Coldiretti, the measure could jeopardize Italian wine exports, which reached 7.9 billion in 2022. Yesterday the Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Francesco Lollobrigida returned to the subject, stating that “the stigmatization of wine by Ireland creates a disturbance within the single market”. A position statement also came from the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (Sima): “The attack on Italian wine we are witnessing has nothing scientific about it, and this is confirmed by the official numbers of research institutes”.