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Alcoholic Drinks: Labelling

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what consideration he has given to reviewing the Food Labelling Regulations 1984 to require the listing of all ingredients in drinks with alcohol. (197812)

A proposal made by the European Commission (EC) in January 2008 for a new food information regulation would introduce ingredient labelling on alcoholic drinks.

There would be an exception for wine, beer and spirits, pending a review by the EC with a proposal to produce a report to determine the labelling of these categories of drinks after five years of the entry into force of the regulations.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is responsible for taking forward UK negotiations and has issued a public consultation on the proposal, further information is on the FSA website at:

The FSA's consultation on the proposal requests comments and views on these issues.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what regulations govern the labelling of alcohol to display suitability for vegans and vegetarians. (197813)

There is no definition in law for the use of the terms ‘vegetarian’ and ‘vegan’ either at United Kingdom, or European level. There are no current rules that make display of this information mandatory and any labelling of food or drink products as ‘vegetarian’ or ‘vegan’ is voluntary. Consumers are protected by general legal provisions outlawing false or misleading labelling in UK legislation.