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APN Symposium 22 June2023
Get the facts – on the bottle
Dr Sheila Gilheany, CEO
AAI – independent advocate for
reducing alcohol harm
Strategic Plan 2020-2024
 Coherent and urgent implementation of Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 in full
 A childhood free from alcohol harm
 Services for all affected by alcohol harm
 Establishment of a state sponsored Office to lead on alcohol policy
 Main funder Health Service Executive, Ireland
High annual
alcohol use in Ireland
Alcohol impact in Ireland
15% of Irish population have an Alcohol Use Disorder
4 deaths from alcohol per day, 1460 annually –
11% of health care budget
€3.7 billion in wider costs to society, likely
twice that amount if including harm to others
Central provisions within the Public
Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 3
Prohibition on
advertising in
certain places
Restrictions on
advertising during
events
Children’s clothing
Advertising in
cinemas
Separation and
visibility/licenced
premises
Minimum Unit
Pricing
Regulation: sale
and supply of
alcohol products
Grant or renewal
of a licence
 Labelling alcohol products
 Broadcast watershed ❌
 Content of advertising ❌
 Adverts in publications ❌
Labelling
APN_Sheila Gilheany.pdf
Why have such labels?
 One of the highest levels of FASD globally 47.5 per 1000 population (globally
7.7 per 1000)
 1000 alcohol related cancers in Ireland annually
 Half of all alcohol related breast cancers arise from low-moderate alcohol use
(1-2 drinks per day)
 Low level of awareness – only 20% aware of alcohol/breast cancer link
 Rising levels of liver disease
 261% increase from 1995-2018
 Male hospital discharges increased by 247%
 Female hospital discharges increased by 175%
 Mortality increased 400 fold since 1970
 4 alcohol-related deaths every day – 5% of all deaths
 Consumer’s right to know
EU policy framework
 There is no harmonising EU legislation on the use of health warnings on
alcohol
 Alcohol currently has an exemption from 2011 regulations on having to
include ingredients and nutritional info on packaging.
 Various attempts in relation to self regulation – entirely unsatisfactory
 Proposal now to amend 2011 regulations so that alcohol would have to comply
 Strenuous efforts from alcohol industry to have such info provided off-label –
ie QR Codes
 In addition, 2021 EC– Europe Beating Cancer Plan, calls for cancer warning
labelling by end of 2023
Ireland’s labelling regulation process
 Ireland notified the European Commission of its labelling legislation plans in
Jan 2018 and stakeholders and member states had an opportunity to
comment.
 Legislation was passed in Oct 2018
 Detailed regulations giving effect to the enacted legislation were published in
June 2022.
 These were notified to EU - standstill period until Dec 2022
 Significant campaign led by AAI – 70% of submissions in favour – in line with
public support
 13 member states issued detailed opinions or comments
EU Response
 No comment issued by Dec 2022 –
 Entirely consistent with EU’s 2011 regulation which provides that Member
States can also adopt national labelling measures provided the notify
Commission in advance.
 Recognition of a Member States’ competency to adopt measure on ground of
protection of public health.
Stella Kyriakides European Commissioner
for Health and Food Safety
In the context of the analysis under the FIC Regulation, the Commission
considered that the Irish authorities demonstrated that the notified measures
were justified on public health grounds considering the situation in Ireland and
that any resulting restrictions for the internal market that the measures may
have were proportionate to the objective pursued…….
Having analysed exclusively the draft measures notified in 2022, the Commission
decided not to issue a reaction under the SMTD.
14 March 2023
World Trade Organisation
 7 Feb 2023 – regulations notified to World Trade Organisation under technical
barriers to trade process
 Standstill period until 7 May
 Objections made by a number of Member States –
 16 May 2023 – ‘Minister for Health will give consideration to the
commencement of the law once all obligations have been met
 22 May 2023 – Ireland’s Minister for Health signed regulations into law –
 3 year lead in period – May 2026
 21 June WTO meeting – to be discussed. EU has a role in defending Ireland’s
position.
Complaint to EU
 16 May 2023 – complaint lodged with European Commission
Spirits Europe – includes Diageo, Pernod Ricard
Brewers of Europe
European Committee of Wine Companies
 Anyone can make a complaint
 2 week window for EU to acknowledge complaint
 No formal timing for any other possible action
Other Labelling Developments
 2017 report from Commission to European Parliament and Council – no
objective grounds that would justify absence of information on ingredients
and the nutrition information on alcoholic beverages.
 Proposed revision of Food Information to Consumers (FIC) to provide
nutritional info on alcohol products
 Industry strongly resisting on-label info – wants QR code
 No evidence for effectiveness of QR codes
 EU Beating Cancer plan – proposal to have health warnings before end of 2023
 Ireland’s regulations are in keeping with these proposals
 Norway – April 2022, Directorate of Health recommended cancer warnings on
alcohol products
 Canada – Jan 2023 - Canadian Centre on Substance Use and
Addiction recommends warning labels be affixed to bottles
and cans to inform consumers about serious health risks
including cancer, the number and potency of drink servings
contained and limiting consumption to two drinks a week.
 WHO Global Strategy recommends consumer information and warnings.
 EVID Action Project
Thank you
 Contact details
 Email: Sheila.Gilheany@alcoholactionireland.ie
 Web: alcoholireland.ie
 Twitter: @AlcoholIreland

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APN_Sheila Gilheany.pdf

  • 1. APN Symposium 22 June2023 Get the facts – on the bottle Dr Sheila Gilheany, CEO
  • 2. AAI – independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm Strategic Plan 2020-2024  Coherent and urgent implementation of Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 in full  A childhood free from alcohol harm  Services for all affected by alcohol harm  Establishment of a state sponsored Office to lead on alcohol policy  Main funder Health Service Executive, Ireland
  • 4. Alcohol impact in Ireland 15% of Irish population have an Alcohol Use Disorder 4 deaths from alcohol per day, 1460 annually – 11% of health care budget €3.7 billion in wider costs to society, likely twice that amount if including harm to others
  • 5. Central provisions within the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 3 Prohibition on advertising in certain places Restrictions on advertising during events Children’s clothing Advertising in cinemas Separation and visibility/licenced premises Minimum Unit Pricing Regulation: sale and supply of alcohol products Grant or renewal of a licence  Labelling alcohol products  Broadcast watershed ❌  Content of advertising ❌  Adverts in publications ❌
  • 8. Why have such labels?  One of the highest levels of FASD globally 47.5 per 1000 population (globally 7.7 per 1000)  1000 alcohol related cancers in Ireland annually  Half of all alcohol related breast cancers arise from low-moderate alcohol use (1-2 drinks per day)  Low level of awareness – only 20% aware of alcohol/breast cancer link  Rising levels of liver disease  261% increase from 1995-2018  Male hospital discharges increased by 247%  Female hospital discharges increased by 175%  Mortality increased 400 fold since 1970  4 alcohol-related deaths every day – 5% of all deaths  Consumer’s right to know
  • 9. EU policy framework  There is no harmonising EU legislation on the use of health warnings on alcohol  Alcohol currently has an exemption from 2011 regulations on having to include ingredients and nutritional info on packaging.  Various attempts in relation to self regulation – entirely unsatisfactory  Proposal now to amend 2011 regulations so that alcohol would have to comply  Strenuous efforts from alcohol industry to have such info provided off-label – ie QR Codes  In addition, 2021 EC– Europe Beating Cancer Plan, calls for cancer warning labelling by end of 2023
  • 10. Ireland’s labelling regulation process  Ireland notified the European Commission of its labelling legislation plans in Jan 2018 and stakeholders and member states had an opportunity to comment.  Legislation was passed in Oct 2018  Detailed regulations giving effect to the enacted legislation were published in June 2022.  These were notified to EU - standstill period until Dec 2022  Significant campaign led by AAI – 70% of submissions in favour – in line with public support  13 member states issued detailed opinions or comments
  • 11. EU Response  No comment issued by Dec 2022 –  Entirely consistent with EU’s 2011 regulation which provides that Member States can also adopt national labelling measures provided the notify Commission in advance.  Recognition of a Member States’ competency to adopt measure on ground of protection of public health.
  • 12. Stella Kyriakides European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety In the context of the analysis under the FIC Regulation, the Commission considered that the Irish authorities demonstrated that the notified measures were justified on public health grounds considering the situation in Ireland and that any resulting restrictions for the internal market that the measures may have were proportionate to the objective pursued……. Having analysed exclusively the draft measures notified in 2022, the Commission decided not to issue a reaction under the SMTD. 14 March 2023
  • 13. World Trade Organisation  7 Feb 2023 – regulations notified to World Trade Organisation under technical barriers to trade process  Standstill period until 7 May  Objections made by a number of Member States –  16 May 2023 – ‘Minister for Health will give consideration to the commencement of the law once all obligations have been met  22 May 2023 – Ireland’s Minister for Health signed regulations into law –  3 year lead in period – May 2026  21 June WTO meeting – to be discussed. EU has a role in defending Ireland’s position.
  • 14. Complaint to EU  16 May 2023 – complaint lodged with European Commission Spirits Europe – includes Diageo, Pernod Ricard Brewers of Europe European Committee of Wine Companies  Anyone can make a complaint  2 week window for EU to acknowledge complaint  No formal timing for any other possible action
  • 15. Other Labelling Developments  2017 report from Commission to European Parliament and Council – no objective grounds that would justify absence of information on ingredients and the nutrition information on alcoholic beverages.  Proposed revision of Food Information to Consumers (FIC) to provide nutritional info on alcohol products  Industry strongly resisting on-label info – wants QR code  No evidence for effectiveness of QR codes  EU Beating Cancer plan – proposal to have health warnings before end of 2023  Ireland’s regulations are in keeping with these proposals
  • 16.  Norway – April 2022, Directorate of Health recommended cancer warnings on alcohol products  Canada – Jan 2023 - Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction recommends warning labels be affixed to bottles and cans to inform consumers about serious health risks including cancer, the number and potency of drink servings contained and limiting consumption to two drinks a week.  WHO Global Strategy recommends consumer information and warnings.  EVID Action Project
  • 17. Thank you  Contact details  Email: Sheila.Gilheany@alcoholactionireland.ie  Web: alcoholireland.ie  Twitter: @AlcoholIreland