A new research institute for Wine, Diet and Health (Istituto per la Ricerca su Vino, Alimentazione e Salute) was presented in Rome today.
The institute for Wine, Diet and Health aims to promote knowledge of the Mediterranean diet and moderate wine consumption. All this in relation to health and well-being, as well as local culture and traditions.
Luigi Tonino Marsella of the Roma Tor Vergata University heads the institute. The mission is particularly topical at the moment with Ireland seeking to bring in health warnings on the labels of alcoholic drinks like those on cigarette packets. This is a move Italy staunchly opposes.
Last year the Italian Minister for Agriculture warned against standardised food.
EU alcohol producers enraged over Ireland’s plans
The European Commission has cleared the way for Ireland to bring in the new labels. Similar to those on cigarette packets, they warn of the consequences to health of consuming alcohol. Ireland’s plan is to require health warning labels on bottles of wine, beer and spirits. They would state drinking alcohol causes liver disease, harms the unborn baby, and is directly linked to fatal cancers.
The plan has sparked a backlash in the EU. Nine member countries have filed objections and the drinks industry brands it an attack on the bloc’s single market. They also argue drinking in moderation is being attacked.
Putting health warnings on all alcoholic beverage containers is the last, most difficult part of Ireland’s landmark Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018, which aims to reduce alcohol abuse and the burden this imposes on hospitals. The legislation has already put minimum prices on retail products, infuriating consumers who can no longer buy beer and vodka on the cheap.
What would Ireland’s labels say?
According to the draft regulations, the health warnings will not hold back. They would be required to be in red uppercase text. An example: