Action Alert: Urge Feds to Improve Alcohol Beverage Labeling

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On December 16, CSPI, the National Consumers League, and 67 other organizations sent a petition to the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB; formerly the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) requesting a new rule to improve mandatory label information on alcoholic beverages.


Petitioners seek to overcome consumer ignorance of calories and ingredients in the drinks they consume.  Consumers are often confused about the source of the alcohol in some of those drinks (e.g., flavored malt beverages).  Because of inconsistent requirements regarding the labeling of alcohol content, they may be unaware of the different "serving sizes" for different drinks, for example, a regular beer versus a malt liquor product.  Today's alcoholic-beverage labels help perpetuate this ignorance and can only help fuel the obesity epidemic and other serious health and safety problems related to alcohol consumption.


What the Petition Asks:

The petition asks TTB to issue a rule that would require that labels of all alcoholic beverages regulated by TTB include the following information in a standardized format:

  1. the beverage's alcohol content expressed as a percentage of volume;

  2. the serving size;

  3. the amount of alcohol per serving;

  4. number of calories per serving;

  5. the ingredients (including additives) from which the beverage is made;

  6. the number of standard drinks per container; and

  7. the U.S. Dietary Guidelines' advice on moderate drinking for men and women.


Sample Label:


What You Can Do to Help:

While we are hopeful that TTB will develop a proposed rule based on our petition, which would then be open for public comment, further encouragement from consumers is needed.  If you support our efforts to provide consumers of alcoholic beverages with clear, consistent, and helpful information, please consider weighing in now with the TTB.  Supporters should write to the TTB and urge them to begin rulemaking on this issue.


Send your letters, faxes and emails to:

Arthur Libertucci, Administrator

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

US Department of the Treasury
650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20226

Fax: 202-927-5611



January 29, 2004

Related Links:

Ingredient Labeling Petition

CSPI Press Release


Email this link


For more information, please contact Amy Gotwals, Manager of Grassroots Advocacy.

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Center for Science in the Public Interest

Alcohol Policies Project

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