Health labels on wine: in Ireland it's law » ESQ - Your Certification Partner

Health labels on wine: in Ireland it’s law

ESQ - Your Certification Partner > food > Health labels on wine: in Ireland it’s law

Health labels on wine: in Ireland it’s law, but Italy does not agree.

The Irish Minister of Health officially converted into law the Regulation about the labelling of alcohol on 22 May 2023.

European Commission has given the green light with the silent assent to Irish proposal, despite the controversy.

This subject already inflamed the discussion because the proposal includes the labelling of alcohol with health warning.

The decree would apply after a transition period of three years, from 22 May 2026.

The Minister Donnelly declared himself satisfied with Ireland being the first country in the world to take this step.


The new labels should indicate calorie content and grams of alcohol present in the product, as well as warnings on the risk of illnesses, tumors and problems in pregnancy due to alcohol consumption.


This first case in Europe was perceived as an actual condemnation of countries, like Italy, producers and exporters of alcohol, including wine.

The damage to Italy, it is estimated, will be 45 million euros per year.

The agrifood cooperatives, indeed, have already submitted a complaint to the EU Commission, claiming the Ireland violation of articles 34 and 36 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union.

Not only Italy, France and Spain (wine exporters par excellence), but also Portugal, Denmark, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary could join to put pressure on European Commission.

The Irish labelling on alcohol has encountered criticism from different EU countries, but also from WTO members.

Dublin proposal wants to fight the scourge of alcoholism.

What worries the many European countries which criticize the choise, is that it’s an important precedent, disproportionate and not compatible with European law.

The NO campaign works to obstruct the law, asking Bruxelles for a infringement procedure for Ireland, accused of restricting the right to trade.

The issue will be on the agenda on 21 June.


The Irish government is also accused of proposing discriminatory rules based on an alarmist and penalizing approach to wine, the responsible consumption of which is being likened to abuse of spirits.

Is Ireland overreacting or are the other countries minimizing?

Crea, the technical body of Ministry of Agriculture, expressed a technical opinion.

The doses allowable in Mediterranean diet, the famous glass a day, are a concession to consume during meals. It is good to clarify, however, that no amount of alcohol is risk-free.

Despite the fact some Eu countries talk about criminalization and alarmism, also OMS has clarified that data show “cancer is a major cause of death related to alcohol in Eu”.

The United Nations agency points out that even small amounts of alcohol can adversely affect health.

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