Why There Is No Nutritional Facts Label For Alcohol

Most products in a store will have a nutritional facts label except for alcoholic drinks. You will not see this kind of label when you buy liquor or some other alcoholic beverages. This is because the government agency that regulates alcohol does not make it compulsory for brands to provide this form of a label. The Food and Administration still do not regulate the product, as a move that continues from the times of Prohibition in the US. Instead, the agency named the Tax and Trade Bureau is responsible for regulating it.

Consumer advocates may pressurize the TTB to make the labeling compulsory, but it does not look like it is happening anytime soon. Some years ago, the federal agency made it optional for alcohol makers to have the label. This means they can decide whether or not to provide nutritional facts label for alcohol.

This appears trivial, but experts feel that it is a matter of public health. “Many adults take in a tremendous amount of calories from alcohol, and they have no idea,” stated Sara Bleich, who researched on public health matters for Johns Hopkins. Bleich said the average US citizen who consumes alcohol frequently ingests 400 calories from it. This is an unsurprising fact considering that there are around 150 calories in an average glass of wine, or a standard beer.

Why It Is Not Completely Labeled

The reason is related to the Prohibition of Alcohol, dating back to the 1930s. In 1935, soon after the Prohibition was revoked, the Congress put the so-called ‘Federal Alcohol Administration Act’ into effect. It went on to establish the TTB and made the federal agency responsible to regulate alcohol beverage labels. Therefore, when the Food and Drug Administration required every packed food to have nutritional facts label in 1990, alcohol was unaffected. The case was the same for online liquor too.

Rather, many different kinds of labeling rules were established for various forms of alcohol in the years since 1990. There must be a label for distilled liquor that indicates its ABV, and this also applies to wine having more than 14% alcohol. However, it is optional to have the labels for all other wines and every beer in the market. Manufacturers could not list the alcohol content in their beers fearing that the products would be advertised on this basis, but the Supreme Court ruled in 1995 that the prohibition violated the US First Amendment.

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