Australia's brewers' association is calling for pregnancy warning labels to be adopted across all alcohol products as a matter of urgency.
The Brewers Association of Australia – representing Carlton & United Breweries, Lion Beer Australia and Coopers Brewery – has stated that the wider sector needs to comply with carrying the warning symbol on all beers.
The association's CEO Brett Heffernan said the voluntary labelling system introduced five years ago had not been as effective as could be.
“Any alcohol produced in Australia since 2012 could, and should, bear the warning label by now," he said.
“There is simply no excuse for any further delay in adopting pregnancy warning labels on all alcohol products made in Australia."
However, he admitted that the current pregnancy warning labels were having an impact.
"Research commissioned by DrinkWise Australia shows that 89 per cent of the young adult population recall the warnings on product labels and packaging," Heffernan said.
“According to the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 55.6 per cent of pregnant women in Australia do not drink alcohol at all. The data points to an encouraging trend of continual improvement, up from 40 per cent in 2007."
Heffernan said industry, government and the community should commit to tackling Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) collaboratively.
“We take FASD seriously and we are keen to partner with the Australian Government, the rest of industry and community on practical, workable solutions,” he said.