Friday, 27 June 2008

New Beer Labeling Regulations Proposed

From a friend who works on the Hill comes a story from CQ Weekly (no link available) on a proposed labeling law that would require that "distillers and brewers put notices on any bottles that may include even trace amounts of allergens such as wheat (a common ingredient in beer), eggs, milk or fish bladders (sometimes used to clarify wine)."

A coalition of alcohol trade groups argued against the change, saying that at most they should be required to say “processed with” rather than "contains," in cases like isinglass.

Also in the pipeline are regulations which would require nutritional information on beer (calories, etc) like already required on other food and beverage products. Like alcohol percentage labeling requirements, which are inconsistent from state to state because of disagreement on their actual effect, there is disagreement on the newly proposed rules as well. Some fear that "nutrition" information on beer would suggest that it is "nutritious" and would encourage irresponsible drinking, while others suspect that consumers would limit their consumption if they realized how many calories they were consuming. I have personally found that most people are surprised how few calories, not how many, are in a serving of beer.

In general, I tend to think providing the consumer with more information and allowing them to make an informed decision is a good thing, but additional labeling regulations on top of what is already required to be crammed onto a small paper label. On the other hand, labeling beer like every other beverage could make it less marginal as a beverage choice. What do you think?


Douglas said...

It ought be required to show the amount of taxes levied on each bottle of beer before it hits a retailer.

Admiral said...

LOL, as usual, I am in agreement with Douglas.