The Methodist Church in Britain has welcomed news that the drinks industry could be forced to put health warnings on all alcoholic drinks, after public concern about the social impact of heavy consumption.
The proposals from the Department of Health would mean that by law, labels would have to give information such as the number of units contained in the drink, guidelines for alcohol consumption and the Drinkaware Trust website (www.drinkaware.co.uk). Methodists been calling for improved labelling since the launch of the voluntary scheme in 2007.
David Bradwell, Policy Adviser for the Methodist Church in Britain, commented: “There has been very slow progress with the voluntary labelling scheme, where the onus for action is left to producers. But because responsible marketing is not a priority for many alcohol producers, mandatory labelling has to be the answer."
He continued: "People should know exactly how many units are in each bottle and should be aware of the health risks, so that they can make an informed choice about what and how much they drink.”
But the Church believes that further action will be needed to tackle Britain’s binge drinking culture, and it is pressing for the Government to introduce a minimum sale price for each unit of alcohol.
“Cheap booze blights lives,” Bradwell declared. “We need radical action to tackle the devastation caused by alcohol abuse.”
The Methodist Church is one of the largest Christian churches in Britain, with around 265,000 members and regular contact with over 800,000 people. It has some 5,800 churches in Britain, and also maintains links with other Methodist churches, with a worldwide membership total of 70 million.