Health promotion foundation VicHealth has welcomed the announcement of new requirements for booze companies to label alcoholic products with warnings about the risks of drinking during pregnancy.
The labels will be mandatory and will include a pictogram and relevant warning statement about the harms alcohol can cause unborn children.
VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter commended the decision and the leadership shown by the Victorian Government and health ministers from across the country in putting the health of children ahead of profits.
“There is no safe level of drinking during pregnancy. It’s critical that mums know that drinking alcohol while pregnant can cause miscarriage, still birth, low birth weights and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD),” Ms Rechter said.
“These reforms will give women the information they need and deserve to keep them and their children safe from the harms of alcohol.”
Ms Rechter said the labels would have an impact in reducing the high rates of drinking in pregnant women.
“The alcohol industry has had seven years to voluntarily introduce labels warning about the risks of drinking during pregnancy however the takeup has been low,” she said.
“Almost 15 per cent of pregnant women drink while pregnant – we know many of them do so unaware of the potential harm.
“These reforms will ensure alcohol companies do the right thing and help protect vulnerable women and children from the harms of alcohol during pregnancy.
“I congratulate the Victorian Government for backing these vital reforms to improve the health of countless pregnant women and their unborn children.”
Rachel Murphy, VicHealth Senior Media Advisor on 03 9667 1319, 0435 761 732 or [email protected]