Alcohol industry to add unit information to labels

Alcohol brands will overhaul their labels to promote sensible drinking after reaching a deal with the government.

Public health minister Caroline Flint has unveiled a voluntary agreement between the government and the industry to add information to drinks labels.

By the end of 2008, labels on alcohol packaging will set out the number of units contained in the drink, as well as the recommended safe-drinking guidelines. Men are advised not to exceed three to four units a day on a regular basis, women two to three units.

The labels will be backed by a government ad campaign to raise awareness of alcohol units and the recommended limits. It is due to launch next year, although a budget has yet to be disclosed.

Labels will promote www.drinkaware.co.uk, the site set up by industry-funded charity The Drinkaware Trust.

Alcohol Concern said it was 'delighted' with the agreement, though it warned it would need to be supported by further action.

The announcement follows the government's commitment to voluntary labelling in the 2004 Alcohol Harm Reduction push.

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