European consumers demand to know what is in their drinks – launching petition
Today manufacturers of alcoholic beverages do not have to disclose what they have put in the bottle. In contrast all other food and drinks must have detailed listings of both ingredients and nutritional information.
– The alcoholic drinks industry, and the wine industry in particular, is lobbying to keep their privileges. It is therefore important that the consumers come together and show the European Commission that we don’t accept this, says Björn Bernhardson, Deputy Chairman and Executive Member at the Swedish consumer organization Äkta vara, which has started a petition to remove the exemption.
The current regulation is not in the consumers interest and the European Commission admitted in their 2017 report, which finally came about after pressure from the parliament and consumer groups, that there is no “objective ground" to justify the exemption.
“Current proposal is unacceptable”
Even so the Commission have decided, not to set things straight and remove it, but instead to let the industry themselves come up with a proposal for how to provide better information to the consumer. It was submitted to the Commission last year, which is currently considering it.
– As expected, their proposal is inadequate and unacceptable for the consumer and we therefore hope that the Commission won’t accept it either, says Bernhardson.
The industry proposes to be able to choose which details they want to declare. They even want to make in possible to only provide generalized information for the product category, instead of the actual ingredients or nutritional values. Furthermore, they propose to not have to provide the information on the package itself but instead on a web page.
Launching a pan-European petition
This is far from the kind of detailed and easily accessible information that is mandatory for other food and non-alcoholic drinks and which is essential for consumers to compare products and make informed choices.
The petition, called In Vino Veritas, is aimed at all European citizens. Currently it is backed by several Swedish consumer organizations as well as the European Alcohol Policy Alliance, Eurocare. It is available in English, German, French, Italian and Swedish.
Find the petition at invinoveritas.se
For more information contact:
Äkta vara is a Swedish consumer onrganization promoting better food quality and consumer information. It is a member organization of the Swedish Consumers’ Association.