October 7, 2015
Washington DC—The National Consumers League and Shape Up America! today applauded the appearance in the market of alcoholic beverage packaging with Serving Facts labels. Diageo, the maker of Crown Royal whiskey, has announced that their packaging now features a Serving Facts label like the ones the two organizations have advocated for more than 10 years.
“The National Consumers League and many allied organizations have waited a long time for this day,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “I applaud Diageo for its willingness to place in consumers’ hands the serving facts information they want and need—right on the package. Now is the time for all manufacturers of beer, wine, and spirits to follow this lead by providing consumers with easy access to the information they need to help them to drink responsibly.”
“Serving Facts labeling is an important tool for consumers looking to make informed decisions about drinking,” added Dr. Barbara Moore, President and CEO of Shape Up America! “Complete serving information is especially important today, when so many adults are either overweight or obese. As the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee highlighted earlier this year, 21% of calories from beverages in the average diet come from alcoholic beverages (DGAC Scientific Report, Part D, Chapter 1, p. 47). For the sake of good health, for weight management and for the sake of safe driving, consumers need this information to make the responsible choice the easy choice.”
Alcoholic beverages are one of the very few consumer goods for which nutrition or serving facts are not required. The National Consumers League, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and more than 70 other organizations petitioned for such labeling on beer, wine, and distilled spirits products in 2003. The petition called for the Serving Facts labels to include alcohol per serving and servings per container, as well as calories, carbs, protein, and fat per serving. After a protracted regulatory process, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau issued a rule in 2013 that allowed (but did not require) Serving Facts labels for alcoholic beverages. The new Crown Royal Serving Facts label is a result of that lengthy campaign.
“Both of our organizations are engaged in helping educate the public about responsible decision-making about what they eat and drink,” said Greenberg and Moore. “This is an important step forward in providing vital information to consumers.”
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.
About Shape Up America!
Shape Up America! was founded in 1994 by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to raise awareness of the health effects of obesity and to provide responsible information on weight management to the public and to health care professionals. The organization maintains an award winning website – www.shapeup.org – accessed by more than 100,000 visitors each month.