Labelling, a legal obligation with positive impact
Me Benoît Titran Avocat - Lille (France)

Protecting
The unborn baby
fr...
Usual description of prevalence and
consequences of FASD
• Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is the most common and
...
The prevalence of FAS is estimated at between 0.5 and 3% of live births,
while the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) ...
Situation described in different
european countries
•

35 to 50% of Dutch women drink during pregnancy

Health Council of ...
A French INPES 2007 study shows the current
lack of knowledge in general population :
• For only 27% of respondents in 200...
Providing information is the first step toward
prevention

It must be given by :
Health professionals
Governments
Media

B...
Safety is the main aim of consumer law
Providing information is the main legal tool

The Consumer Code in France

Article ...
The French formal complaint
was the first change of the deal
•

Legal proceeding based on the fact that
Government must en...
DIRECTIVE 2001/95/EC
OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
of 3 December 2001on general product safety

CHAPTER II...
Examples of application
of these legal texts
Information on margarine :
“This product may not be appropriate
for pregnant ...
Labeling has only positive impact
•

•

For producers, implementing warning
labels on alcoholic drinks is a cost
effective...
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Labelling, a legal obligation with positive impact 7th sept 2011

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explaining how labelling of alcohol beverages may be an adequat support for medical and consumer security working.
alos how it's a legal obligation for producers.

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Labelling, a legal obligation with positive impact 7th sept 2011

  1. 1. Labelling, a legal obligation with positive impact Me Benoît Titran Avocat - Lille (France) Protecting The unborn baby from alcohol European Parliament Brussels 7 september 2011
  2. 2. Usual description of prevalence and consequences of FASD • Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is the most common and damaging birth defect in the world, affecting about 1 in 100 people in all Europe. • 45 000 children born in Europe are impacted by FASD. • They become adults with permanent cerebral damage. • Most of them won’t be self sufficient. • The comprehensive lifetime cost of just one baby with FAS could be as much as 4 million (euros).
  3. 3. The prevalence of FAS is estimated at between 0.5 and 3% of live births, while the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is estimated at 9% of live births.
  4. 4. Situation described in different european countries • 35 to 50% of Dutch women drink during pregnancy Health Council of the Netherlands. Risks of alcohol consumption related to conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. 2004/22. Den Haag (2005). • In Dublin, the Coombe Women’s Hospital study found that 63% of women drink during pregnancy Barry, S. et al. The Coombe Women's Hospital study of alcohol, smoking and illicit drug use, 1988– 2005. 2006. Dublin: Coombe Women's Hospital. • A recent study in Barcelona showed that 45% of babies were heavily exposed to alcohol Garcia-Algar, O. et al. Alarming prevalence of fetal alcohol exposure in a Mediterranean city. Ther. Drug Monit. 30, 249-254 (2008). • A recent and alarming study in the Lazio region of Italy showed that 20 to 40 children per thousand have FASD. May, P.A. et al. Epidemiology of FASD in a province in Italy: Prevalence and characteristics of children in a random sample of schools. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 30, 1562-1575 (2006). The only explanation of this situation is a deep lack of knowledge in general population
  5. 5. A French INPES 2007 study shows the current lack of knowledge in general population : • For only 27% of respondents in 2007 (22% in 2004), the risk is equivalent throughout pregnancy; • Only half people think that drinking beer or wine during pregnancy is as dangerous as drinking spirits. • Only 30% think that the risk for the foetus starts after the first glass (vs. 25% in 2004). • 70% of respondents are unaware there are NO safe limits of alcohol consumption during pregnancy
  6. 6. Providing information is the first step toward prevention It must be given by : Health professionals Governments Media But first of all, it is a legal obligation for producers in all our countries.
  7. 7. Safety is the main aim of consumer law Providing information is the main legal tool The Consumer Code in France Article L. 213-1 : Anyone, whether or not they are party to the contract, who may have deceived or attempted to deceive the contractor, by any procedural means whatsoever…, shall be punished by two years imprisonment and a 37,500 fine. 1°… 2°… 3° or on the fitness for use, the risks inherent in use of the product, the checks carried out, the operating procedures or precautions to be taken. Article L. 213-2 : The penalties provided for in article L.213-1 are doubled: 1° if the offences provided for in said article result in use of the merchandise being made dangerous to human or animal welfare.
  8. 8. The French formal complaint was the first change of the deal • Legal proceeding based on the fact that Government must enforce the law. • Immediately following, there was an awareness of both the real issues and legal responsibilities. • A special law was adopted in February 2005 : – Information given at schools for children and teenagers – Special teaching for health professionals – Regular campaigns in media • Since October 2006, labels are compulsory. THIS SITUATION MAY BE EXACTLY THE SAME IN ALL EUROPE.
  9. 9. DIRECTIVE 2001/95/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 3 December 2001on general product safety CHAPTER III - Other obligations of producers and obligations of distributors Article 5 Within the limits of their respective activities, producers shall provide consumers with the relevant information to enable them to assess the risks inherent in a product…, where such risks are not immediately obvious without adequate warnings, and to take precautions against those risks... The first thing that a Democratic government must do is enforce the existing law.
  10. 10. Examples of application of these legal texts Information on margarine : “This product may not be appropriate for pregnant woman because she has specific nutritional needs.” Information on moisturizing cream : “This cream moisturizes only superficial skin.”
  11. 11. Labeling has only positive impact • • For producers, implementing warning labels on alcoholic drinks is a cost effective measure. Moreover, the use of labels can serve as positive branding. • Labeling leads consumers to take seriously the advice of abstinence given by health professionals and public information campaigns.

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