Business

Ireland is set to become the first country in the world to put health warnings on alcohol products.

Dublin’s health minister Stephen Donnelly signed new regulations on Monday, which will warn drinkers about the health risks of drinking alcohol, as well as the calorie count of the product.

However, the labels will not be mandatory until May 2026.

The Irish government said the regulations would bring alcohol products in line with requirements for food packaging.

Mr Donnelly said: “I welcome that we are the first country in the world to take this step and introduce comprehensive health labelling of alcohol products.

“I look forward to other countries following our example.”

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The labels will detail the dangers of drinking while pregnant, potentially fatal cancers and the risks of liver disease.

Ireland’s plan has faced protests from Italy, Spain and six other EU member states that have said it could cause problems within the single market.

Coldiretti, Italy’s biggest farmers’ association, described the “terrifying” warnings as a “direct attack”.

“The green light from the European Union for alarmist wine labels in Ireland represents a dangerous precedent as it risks opening the door to other legislation capable of negatively influencing consumer choices,” it said.

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