In Italy, criticized the decision to introduce special labels for alcohol in Ireland

ROME, January 12 – RIA Novosti. The Italian authorities have sharply criticized Ireland’s decision to introduce special labels for all types of alcoholic beverages, which will remind of the serious consequences of drinking alcohol for human health, by analogy with the warning labels on the dangers of smoking on tobacco packaging.
The Irish authorities informed the EU about their desire to introduce such labeling of alcoholic products back in June last year. On Wednesday it became known that after a six-month “moratorium” the European Commission allowed Dublin to use special labels, and soon in Ireland on bottles of alcohol, including beer and wine, there will be warnings that “alcohol causes liver disease” and that ” Alcohol is associated with cancer.

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Brussels made this decision despite the sharply negative attitude towards the Irish initiative from Italy, France and Spain, which are the main producers of wine in Europe. Their position was supported by six other EU member states.
“Ireland’s decision to introduce a label for all alcoholic beverages, including Italian wine, is absurd… A choice that ignores the difference between moderate drinking and heavy drinking,” Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani tweeted on Thursday. He said that he would apply on this issue to the European Commission and the World Trade Organization.
In turn, the head of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, described such a decision as a rude attempt to influence the market. “The decision by the EU Commission to allow Ireland to label all alcohol, including wine, with health risk warnings is very dangerous. We believe that it is not intended to guarantee health, but to influence markets. This initiative comes from countries where not produce wine and where strong liquor is abused,” he told reporters on Thursday.
The Italian Foreign Ministry said that Tajani and Lollobrigida on Thursday sent a special letter to EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, in which, in connection with the decision of Ireland, they asked him to fit into the current situation. “The choice of Dublin negatively affects the freedom of trade and the free circulation of goods within the Union,” the document says.

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Italy‘s leading national agricultural association, Coldiretti, even accused the Irish authorities of using “terrorist warnings.” In her opinion, the decision to introduce special labeling of alcoholic products is fraught with “the danger of a new protectionism, which fuels anxiety about harm to health.”
“It is completely wrong to equate the excessive consumption of spirits, typical of the Nordic countries, with the moderate and conscious consumption of quality products with a low alcohol content, such as beer and wine, which in Italy has become the emblem of a lifestyle associated with attention to psychophysical balance,” – said Coldiretti president Ettore Prandini.
Italy is one of the world‘s leading wine producers, with more than half of which it supplies abroad. In 2022, Italian wine exports increased to almost 8 billion euros, a record high. Winemaking provides about 1.3 million jobs in the Apennines.

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Translation by RJ983

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