Recommendations on the dissemination of information on wine

Status: In force

Recommendations on the dissemination of information on wine




CONSIDERING that article 2 of the Agreement of 3rd April 2001, establishes the objects and functions of the OIV, such as to inform its members of measures whereby the concerns of producers, consumers and other players in the vine and wine products sector may be taken into consideration.  To achieve these objectives, the OIV’s activities shall be:

g) to help protect the health of consumers and to contribute to food safety, by promoting and guiding research into appropriate nutritional and health aspects; and

n) to gather, process and disseminate the most appropriate information and to communicate it;

CONSIDERING the OIV’s Strategic Plan 2020-2024 (Axe III. A) to encourage research and to collect and disseminate scientific information on the effects of the wine consumption, grapes and other vine-based products on health, together and consistent with the WHO and the other relevant organizations;

CONSIDERING that consumers of wine should be fully informed about the characteristics and quality of what they consume, and the consequences for their health of their consumption, in order to make informed choices;

CONSIDERING that the “Safety and Health” Commission, has been gathering, processing and disseminating information on the health effects of alcohol consumption with the main objective to facilitate informed decisions about wine consumption;

CONSIDERING the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Strategy[1] to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol, endorsed by the WHO Assembly in 2010, contains information about health risks associated with alcohol consumption and provides a menu of policy options based on international consensus, which the OIV has considers as a starting point to identify a set of recommendations to facilitate informed decisions about wine consumption;

CONSIDERING the above mentioned, these recommendations presents results from systematic reviews and meta-analyses[2] and aims to facilitate for wine consumers to make informed decisions about their consumption. It aims to inform wine drinkers that they should consume wine with meals and in accordance with national drinking guidelines, and in certain circumstances abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages altogether (e.g. when underage, driving or during pregnancy);

CONSIDERING that public health is an area that falls within the competence of Member States, these recommendations should be implemented at the discretion of each Member State in line with national public health priorities, taking into account national circumstances, such as religious and cultural contexts, national public health priorities, as well as resources, capacities and capabilities[3]

Recognises that the identified literature suggests that:

  1. the risk of harm associated with alcohol consumption is dependent on the frequency and quantity of ethanol consumption and frequency of binge drinking, and the consumption occasion, for instance with or without a meal.
  2. the risk of harm associated with alcohol consumption is individual and varies with genetic and environmental factors including sex, age, health status and socioeconomic position.
  3. the risk of harm associated with alcohol consumption is influenced by conscious choices including choice of diet (e.g. Mediterranean diet), exercise and smoking.

TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION the following OIV resolutions:

  • Resolution OENO 1/98, which indicates the importance of developing systems of education and information that take into account the legislation specific to the member countries;
  • Resolution ECO 4/99, which indicates the factors that may influence alcohol consumption, such as genetic characteristics, culture, religion, family, peer group, media, education and the availability of products; which indicates  that most educational programs focus on negative consequences without proposing recommendations on a healthy lifestyle and on how one who chooses to drink can do so properly and with appropriate control of risk; which underlines that all information concerning the effects of wine on our health must be presented in a competent and balanced manner;
  • Resolution OENO 72/2000, which indicates that further research is needed in the field of wine and health;
  • Resolution OENO 73/2000, which recommends that Member States, if they choose to publicly highlight the potential benefits to human health of regular and moderate wine consumption, accompany and balance any such statement with caveats highlighting the adverse effects and harms of excessive alcohol consumption to the individual and to the community;

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the works of other organizations on the effects of alcohol consumption on health and in particular:

  • WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful use of Alcohol which defines objectives and measures to reduce the negative health and social consequences of harmful use.
  • WHO Europe which recommends to reduce consumption of beverage alcohol .
  • WHO Europe Health Evidence Network Synthesis Report which explores the implementation and effectiveness of policies based on the New Nordic and Mediterranean diets.
  • The American Heart Association, American Diabetic Association and Mayo Clinic which recommend not to drink wine or any other form of alcohol to gain potential health benefits and to consume alcoholic beverages only in moderation if at all.
  • The World Cancer Research Fund which recommends for cancer prevention to limit alcohol consumption l, not to exceed their national guidelines.
  • The Alzheimer Society which states that moderate alcohol consumption has not been conclusively linked to risk of dementia or cognitive decline.

Recomends that communication directed  to wine consumers should contain:

  • information on the risk associated with harmful consumption alcoholic beverages beyond national drinking guidelines ;
  • information tailored at risk groups, for example pregnant women or lactating women;
  • actionable information to mitigate risk, for example recommend limiting consumption to meals and alternate with water; and
  • information on drinking limits according to national drinking guidelines;

Recognises that more research is warranted on for example:

  • mechanisms underlying the association between wine consumption and health ;
  • consumers’ perceptions of wine consumption being compatible with a healthy lifestyle; and
  • association between wine consumption with meals and as part of a healthy diet and health.

[1]The WHO global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, 2010;

[2] OIV has not followed PRISMA guidelines on systematic reviews

[3] Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, WHO, 2010