Tim Dower: Mandatory alcohol warning labels can only be a good thing

Author
Tim Dower,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Friday, 12 October 2018, 7:13a.m.
But I say fair enough, let's not fanny about with mild little cautions, we need to hit people over the head with it. Photo / Getty Images

Mandatory warning labels will soon be featured on alcohol containers, highlighting the dangers of drinking during pregnancy.

Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor said the decision was made at the Trans-Tasman Forum on Food Regulation in Adelaide.

He said while there have been voluntary warnings for quite some time (about six years) there is no consistency.

This reduces the effectiveness of the message the Minister says.

So what's needed is a standardised message?

Normally I'd be absolutely against any more do this, don't do that nanny state stuff.

But I say fair enough, let's not fanny about with mild little cautions, we need to hit people over the head with it.

Because not everyone understands how much damage can be potentially be done drinking during pregnancy, and the permanent harm to the baby.

We're seeing hundreds of babies born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder because their Mum overdid it when she was pregnant.

The damage can be pretty serious, for starters an abnormal appearance, the baby head is basically out of shape.

The child will end up short, can have poor coordination, low intelligence, behavioural problems, and problems hearing or seeing.

Doctors have been warning about it, and of course smoking during pregnancy, for decades.

Even back in the dark ages when my girls were on the way the message was loud and clear and their mother, to her credit, was pretty stoic and responsible about it.

Other countries already legally require pregnancy warnings so we're just playing catch-up.

But the hideous images on cigarette packets do work, people are quitting

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