The UK government opposition has unveiled plans to scrap the units system currently used to measure alcoholic consumption.
The Conservative party says it would introduce new guidelines to make consumers more aware of their own drinking levels.
Under the proposals, producers would be required to print the actual number of centilitres of pure alcohol contained in each drink, replacing the current system of units.
Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said that the plans would ‘encourage people to live healthier lives.’
‘We will change labelling in order to take account of social norms and to abolish systems of labelling that do not help consumers understand the amount of alcohol they drink.’
The party says units fail to adequately take account of differing strengths of drinks.
It is thought that less than 10% of men and 20% of women know their current safe recommended daily alcohol allowance.
The Conservatives would also rename the Department of Health the ‘Department of Public Health’ with a new emphasis on preventative health measures.
WSTA Chief Executive Jeremy Beadles said it made sense ‘to provide information for consumers about alcohol in a way that can easily be related to specific drinks.’
‘We welcome steps to encourage consumers to make informed choices and take responsibility for their own behaviour.’
‘We believe that policies to address alcohol misuse are most likely to succeed if they focus on problem drinkers rather than particular products.’
‘Evidence from other countries suggests that higher taxes and prices for certain drinks do not change the behaviour of those who misuse alcohol.’
The plans also included a proposed ban on supermarkets selling cheap alcohol as loss-leaders and the introduction of calorie counts on drinks labels.
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Written by John Abbott