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Volume 164: debated on Thursday 21 December 1989

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list all the measures he has taken to reduce alcohol consumption in the United Kingdom diet; and if he will make a statement.

In response to the report by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy on "Diet and Cardiovascular Disease" we extended the Community requirement to indicate alcoholic strength on prepacked alcoholic drinks to dispensed drinks such as those sold in bars or restaurants. This is to help those consumers wishing to assess or reduce their alcohol intake to do so. We are also intending to introduce controls over the use of the description "low alcohol" to drinks not exceeding 1ยท2 per cent. alcohol by volume to ensure that consumers are not misled in this area. Our Food Labelling Regulations already control the use of the terms "alcohol-free", "dealcoholised" and "non-alcoholic". All these are measures to give people the ability to choose. The responsibility for the sensible use of alcohol remains clearly one for every individual.