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New law will make warning labels on beer containers easier to read.

New law will make warning labels on beer containers easier to read

Beer cans and liquor bottles soon will bear a more readable health warning label directed at drivers and pregnant women.

The warning has been required since last November, but the initial regulations by the Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) was criticized for allowing use of small, hard-to-read type.

So, after receiving 13,000 comments from the public, last week the ATF published in the Federal Register new regulations effective in nine months designed to make the warning label more legible. Breweries and distilleries unable to meet the deadline may apply for a 120-day extension.

"The complaints involved readability and that's what we think we have resolved with the new regulations," said Dot Koester, ATF spokeswoman.

"We're pleasantly surprised," said Christine Lubinsky, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence spokeswoman. "Given what we were seeing on bottles, particularly beer, there was a real need for the changes because most of the labels were really bad. There had been some really creative efforts to make the labels as illegible as possible."

"Obviously our industry will comply with it," said Jim Sanders, president, Beer Institute, although it "will require changing hundreds of labels on various containers."

Labels on many cans and bottles already comply with the new, "more restrictive" requirements, Sanders added.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Mar 5, 1990
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