Beer labels boast health benefits

Government lets brewers make same claims as winemakers

Feb 24, 1999 - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has ruled that both beer and winemakers may mention the potential health benefits of their products on their labels. The labels may contain the words: "The proud people who made this (beer-wine) encourage you to consult your family doctor about the health effects of (beer-wine) consumption. To learn the effects of (beer-wine) consumption, send for the Federal Government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, USDA, 1120 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 or visit its website."


However, the Brewers' Association of America suggests that its members and all other brewers not use health claims on its labels, packaging and other promotion material.

It notes: "Beer labels, packaging and other promotional materials are not the appropriate medium to inform the consumer about the health effects of consumption. The subject deserves more careful and thorough explanation. Any attempt to simplify the message about the potential positive health effects of beer will be used by anti-alcohol forces to further defame the beer industry." It also suggest that brewers may incur legal risks by using the new latitude on health effects for promotional purposes.