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2019 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium
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National Consumers League, CSPI + 67 other groups petition TTB for ingredient labeling for AlcBevs

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    “We write as consumer organizations with a longstanding interest in alcoholic-beverage container labeling. We
    appreciate recent efforts by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to streamline the labeling of
    these products through its proposed rule on “Modernization of the Labeling and Advertising Regulations for
    Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages” (Notice No. 176).1 We hope that this rulemaking will bring greater
    clarity and consistency to alcoholic-beverage regulation. However, the current notice falls dramatically short of
    what is needed to truly “modernize” alcohol labeling by failing to require uniform disclosure of key
    information—alcohol content, serving size, calories, ingredients, and allergen information—that consumers need
    to make informed choices.

     

    “Not only do consumers want this information; the TTB needs it to fulfill its statutory obligation under the Federal
    Alcohol Administration Act (FAA) of 1935, which directs the TTB to ensure that alcohol labeling and advertising
    “provide the consumer with adequate information as to the identity and quality of the products.” As the TTB
    acknowledges in Notice No. 176, the intent of Congress in passing the FAA was that federal alcohol regulations
    “provide for the information of the consumer, that he should be told what was in the bottle, and all the important
    factors which were of interest to him about what was in the bottle.”

     

    “Yet now, more than eight decades after passage of the FAA, this core part of its mandate has yet to be realized.
    The public has expressed an overwhelming interest in improved information on the labeling of alcoholic
    beverages. In 2003, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) submitted polling data to the TTB from a
    nationally representative telephone survey of U.S. adults showing that 94 percent supported alcohol-content
    labeling on alcoholic beverages, 91 percent supported ingredient labeling, 89 percent supported labeling of calorie
    content, and 84 percent supported serving size information.”