Germany wants warning labels for pregnant women on beer

DDP/The Local
DDP/The Local - [email protected] • 12 Nov, 2008 Updated Wed 12 Nov 2008 08:29 CEST
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German Drug Commissioner Sabine Bätzing has said she wants to get warning labels for pregnant women on beer bottles within the current legislative period, daily Rheinische Post reported on Wednesday.

“Before the parliamentary election in 2009 we want to lawfully implement warnings on beer bottles that are aimed directly at pregnant women, who can cause considerable damage to their children by drinking during pregnancy,” Bätzing told the Düsseldorf paper.

Plans for the labels include images of a pregnant silhouette with a strike-through line, similar to existing labels in France.

“Yearly 4,000 babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a prenatal impairment to the child through alcohol consumption during pregnancy,” Bätzing said.

In early September, Bätzing reported that more than half of German women occasionally drink alcohol during their pregnancies and more than 10,000 babies are born with alcohol-related birth defects each year, including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

A study by Berlin's Charité Clinic found that 58 percent of German women polled enjoyed an occasional alcoholic beverage during their pregnancies, Bätzing said, adding that the country needs to raise awareness of how even small amounts of alcohol can damage a fetus.

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