Beer labels carry health warning

Newcastle Brown first in UK emphasizing daily limits

Oct 18, 2004 - The biggest brewery in Great Britain announced it will put cigarette-style health warnings on its bottles and cans of beer. The labels will tell customers how many units of alcohol each drink contains plus the recommended daily limits.


The move by Scottish & Newcastle comes as the British government tries to stem binge and underage drinking and works to limit the social and health damage done by alcohol abuse. The labels are not required, but are expected to be adopted by other brewers.

Scottish & Newcastle, which makes Fosters, Kronenbourg and Newcastle Brown Ale, will start by placing the message on containers of Newcastle Brown - a bottle of which contains 2.6 units. The labels will contain the message: "Responsible drinkers don't exceed three to four units a day for men, two to three for women."

Scottish & Newcastle denied the move was to protect it from lawsuits blaming health problems on beer.

Coors, which produces Grolsch and Carling, said it has launched a similar scheme and will have the warnings, or "responsibility strap lines" as it prefers to call them, on new cans within a few weeks. Cans and bottles of Carling will have a message that says: "Enjoy Carling, take it easy."

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