It is likely that all beer, wine and spirits labels will change dramatically in the near future. TTB Administrator John Manfreda confirmed this in a recent speech. TTB has been working on new rules since CSPI and other groups submitted a petition in 2003. The new rules would require a “Serving Facts” panel on every container. This panel would include a lot more information, such as the typical serving size, number of servings per container, calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Because this is a big, controversial change, TTB has received more than 18,000 public comments during the past few years. There are far too many comments for most people to review, and so we will highlight and summarize the most noteworthy comments here. The most recent proposal and comments are here. This is comment 22 in a series; to see others, click on the “serving facts” tag below.
13 Senators submitted a 2 page comment back in January of 2008. It said:
- The proposed rule looks “methodical and careful,” for the most part.
- It is time for TTB to require an alcohol content statement on beer, to be consistent with wine and spirits.
- It is improper to show standard drinks by ounces or graphical depictions, whether optional or mandatory. They are complex and misleading.
Senator Dodd wrote separately, to say:
- “I agree strongly with your proposal to require the listing of nutritional information on alcoholic beverages.”
- Alcoholic beverages are the only food or beverage item for which standardized information is not readily available.
- Standardized nutrition information, on labels, is “critically important.”
- The rule should require labels to show the amount of alcohol per serving, in fluid ounces.
- Labels should define “moderate drinking” and explain that a standard drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol.
- A standard drink would be 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1.5 ounces of spirits.