Drink Tank

Summer Series: This is what an alcohol pregnancy warning label should look like

Every January the Drink Tank team select our ‘best of’ posts from the past year for our Summer Series.

Today we look back at the long and continuing battle towards mandatory pregnancy warning labels on alcohol products.

No amount of alcohol has been proven as safe during pregnancy.

Yet, despite all the evidence, the labelling on alcohol products has been developed and determined by the alcohol industry and applied on a voluntary basis. After seven years, less than 50% of products chose to warn Australian.

Of the ones that did these were often hidden, misleading and confusing. 

On 11 October 2018, Ministers with responsibility for food regulation in Australia and New Zealand put people over alcohol industry profits by voting to mandate pregnancy warning labels on all alcohol products.

There is still a long way to go to ensure effective warnings are used and implemented.

Consultation with regulators, public health groups, government stakeholders and the alcohol industry begins at the end of January 2019 to determine how warning labels will be displayed.

This post highlighted the research into what a pregnancy warning label should look like if it is to work, and the lack of public awareness around alcohol during pregnancy in Australia due to the failed voluntary scheme.


Drink Tank aims to generate meaningful commentary and debate about alcohol policy, and to provide a platform for all members of the Australian community to share their views and concerns.

Our goal is for the Drink Tank community to engage in robust discussion about alcohol, highlighting a broad spectrum of views and voices, and ultimately to raise the profile of alcohol as an issue of national importance.

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