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Minister wants larger ‘no alcohol when pregnant’ logo

Health minister Agnès Buzyn has called for a larger “no alcohol when pregnant” warning logo on alcohol bottles in France, sparking criticism from producers who say it gives a bad impression of their products.

Ms Buzyn yesterday re-emphasised the national “zero alcohol for pregnant women” message.

Speaking on news network France 3, Ms Buzyn explained that one child a day in France is born with serious health issues because their mother drank during pregnancy, and called for larger “no alcohol” logos and warnings on bottles and alcohol products.

She said: “There should be an alarm bell going off here. One child per day in France will be born with a handicap that is totally avoidable, because their mother drank while pregnant. Today, this is an information campaign for women, to say to them, do not drink during pregnancy.”

But since mid-July, wine producers have objected to Ms Buzyn’s hardline stance, and her argument for a larger “no alcohol” logo on product labelling.

They say that the image is “morbid” and makes alcohol look like a “poisonous, offensive” product.

Ms Buzyn argued: “As you can see, this logo is really quite small, and few women know about it. My objective today is to inform women, and I would like to see a larger logo. We are discussing it with producers now.”

The minister noted that between 2006 and 2013, over 3,000 babies were born in France with avoidable health problems, that were caused due to their mother drinking alcohol during her pregnancy.

Of this total of 3,207 babies, 452 (one birth per week) were born with the serious condition, foetal alcohol syndrome.

This can cause slow development, brain damage, learning difficulties, and mental and physical impairment.

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