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Big Brewers Should Label Beer Ingredients

Statement of Michael F. Jacobson

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What are Anheuser-Busch and Miller Coors trying to hide? Three cheers for the Food Babe for shining a light on one of the dark corners of the beer industry. Thirty years ago the Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned and then sued the government to get ingredients listed on labels of alcoholic beverages. But the government largely slammed the door on that idea--requiring only allergens like sulfites and Yellow 5 to be labeled. I hope that Vani Hari's petition will persuade the two biggest brewers--and other companies--to do voluntarily what the government has failed to require them to do.

The government used to publish a list of permitted ingredients in beer, which included food dyes, foam enhancers, preservatives, sweeteners, enzyme, and chill-proofing agents. Ingredients like propylene glycol alginate, Red 40, caramel coloring, and others should certainly be listed on labels in case consumers are concerned about allergens or simply troubled by beers that contain a raft of additives.

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).