Health authorities in the United Kingdom are considering a notable shift in the alcohol by volume (ABV) limit for drinks to be categorized as “alcohol-free,” the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
Presently, beverages must maintain an ABV of 0.05% or lower to qualify for this label. However, authorities are contemplating elevating this threshold to 0.5% in a concerted effort to sway British individuals towards non-alcoholic choices in a bid to reduce overall alcohol consumption, per the news outlet.
The objective behind this potential alteration is to expand the array of low-alcohol and alcohol-free drink options, including beer, wine and prosecco, available in the market. The envisioned outcome is that by raising the ABV limit for the “alcohol-free” designation, more people will opt for these alternatives, promoting a culture of healthier preferences and diminishing the health risks linked to excessive alcohol intake.
“No and low alcohol drinks are getting more and more popular, and we are looking to further support their growth,” Public Health Minister Neil O’Brien explained,” according to the Daily Mirror. “Many other countries around the world already allow more freedom over this.”
“Liberalising labelling guidelines could also help people make more informed choices about the drinks they buy. We want to encourage the growth of no and low alcohol alternatives for those looking to moderate their alcohol intake.”
This proposed adjustment is inspired by the practices of several countries such as the United States, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Portugal and Belgium, all of which have already embraced a 0.5% ABV threshold for the “alcohol-free” classification. To garner public opinion on the matter, a consultation has been initiated to decide whether the U.K. should align with these global practices.
According to the report, this prospective change is also seen as a means to streamline regulations, enhance productivity within the alcohol-free beverage sector and empower consumers to make informed decisions regarding their beverage choices.
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