Alcohol alert on bottles soon

 

In a first, FSSAI – a body under Union health ministry – is regulating all varieties of alcoholic products by permitting only prescribed percent of alcohol in your drink.

HIGHLIGHTS

1 FSSAI is prescribing alcohol content for each alcoholic beverage.

2 Alcohol manufacturers, domestic or foreign, will have to abode by prescribed alcohol content level in the drink.

3 The authority says ensuring consumption safety of alcoholic drinks is its main aim.

For Bacchus lovers, it’s time to say cheers on a healthy note! For, next time you down a peg of your favourite wine or whiskey, be assured that its alcohol content would be within a safe and permissible limit – as per the standards fixed by Food Safety Standard & Authority of India (FSSAI).

In a first, FSSAI – a body under Union health ministry – is regulating all varieties of alcoholic products by permitting only prescribed percent of alcohol in your drink. All categories of hard drink such as beer, wine, brandy, country liquor, gin, rum, whisky, vodka and wine (red and white) have been regulated.

FSSAI is also prescribing the limit of heavy metals in hard drinks. These heavy metals are found naturally in alcoholic beverages. There will also be an advisory on life safety – ‘Be safe, do not drink & drive’. This will be in addition to the existing labelling that mentions ‘Alcohol is injurious to health’.

Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of accidents and deaths in India. The World Health Organisation study also identifies drunk driving as one of the five key risk factors for road deaths.

According to the ministry of road transport and highways report, 2015, 6,777 individuals were killed because of drunk driving. In 2016, Delhi alone saw as many as 28,006 motorists prosecuted for driving under the influence of alcohol.

FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal told MAIL TODAY, “There was no regulation on alcohol in our country. It is for the first time FSSAI is regulating such beverages. We have been working on this for past two years to develop standards for alcohol limit. The final standards have been sent to the Union health ministry for health minister’s approval and will be notified very soon. FSSAI is now moving along the lines of Bureau of Indian Standards and International Organisation of Vine and Wine.”

“These regulations are made under the Food Product Safety & Standards (Alcoholic Beverages Standard) Regulations 2018,” said Agarwal.

Another official said: “For the regulation of alcohol, the ministry has covered entire products containing alcohol. Any product with over 0.5 per cent of alcohol is called alcohol beverage. Now, these fixed standards for limiting alcoholic content would be applicable under FSSAI Act, 2006, to all domestic products as well as imported products.”

Other countries have to follow new permissible limit for importing their alcohol beverage to India.

“The regulations are being made with the aim to control the market of alcohol manufacturers and also people should get a safe drink,” he added.

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