Wednesday 21 November 2018

Cancer warning 'required on bacon as well'

Rashers of bacon
Rashers of bacon
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Making cancer warnings on alcohol products mandatory would also mean a legal requirement for similar labels on bacon, the Portuguese government claims.

It insists that such warnings would also have to be replicated on processed meat, very hot drinks and oral contraceptives.

The Portuguese government has set out to scupper plans for a major clampdown on the sale of alcohol in Ireland.

The Irish Independent has seen a submission to the European Commission in which Portugal derides legislation that is due back before the Oireachtas next week.

Officials argue that if health warnings are required on beer, wine and spirits, similar labels would have to be carried on food products including rashers and sausages.

"The application of the labelling requirements can not be justified on the basis of only alcohol products, leaving out other products categorised as having cancer risks," the submission says.

The detailed document goes on to argue the proposal being brought through the Dáil by Health Minister Simon Harris could "distort reality" by not including the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption.

It added that moderate drinking can be "associated with certain health benefits, including a protective effect against cardiovascular disease and diabetes".

The Italian government has also raised concerns about the legislation. It has warned that if labels are required in Ireland it would create a barrier to trade.

In addition, officials question why Ireland is focused only on cancer and not other alcohol- related diseases.

The Department of Health said the legislation focused on "reducing the harms associated with alcohol consumption" and "not about addressing other products".

The bill also sets out to delay the start of alcohol consumption by children and young people. It introduces minimum unit pricing that ends below-cost selling of alcohol in supermarkets and other retail outlets.

Irish Independent

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