It is already established that where alcoholic beverages are concerned, there is little harmonisation of national regulations with Codex labelling standards. During the discussion in Ottawa, the issue of the presence on the label of the alcohol content as well as energy values and nutritional information rapidly arose and brought contrasting national positions to the fore.
Some delegations considered that the existing Codex texts sufficiently apply to alcoholic beverages and that given the different types of these products and the social values surrounding their use, it is preferable to deal with them at a national level rather than at the level of the Codex.
However, other countries highlighted that it could be necessary to provide additional guidelines specific to the labelling of alcoholic beverages and – since alcoholic beverages are not ordinary foodstuffs – it would be important to inform consumers of the health risks associated with alcohol consumption by providing reliable information on the label.
The delegate for the OIV, Scientific Coordinator Jean-Claude Ruf, drew the attention of the Committee to the complexity of labelling alcoholic beverages.
It is worth noting that the OIV has already carried out a revision of its own standard for the labelling of wines and wine-based spirits. Therefore, it would be useful for the potential discussions within the Codex to take into consideration the work of the OIV, which is the sole intergovernmental organisation collaborating with the Codex on this topic.
Dossier to follow within the working groups formed by the Codex...