NEW DELHI: India’s apex food safety regulator has made it mandatory for all liquor bottles to have a message against drink-driving on their labels from April next year. A notification in this regard was published by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare through the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. “Be Safe-Don’t Drink and Drive”, the warning on liquor bottle labels will read.
The new rule says that every liquor bottle, whether of country made liquor, Indian-Made Foreign Liquor, or imported alcohol, will carry the textual warnings in English, Hindi or a regional language. The Authority, however, rejected a proposal to add a pictorial warning on the lines of those on cigarette packets.
The development follows a direction from the Delhi High Court, which had asked the FSSAI to look into the matter, on a petition filed by the NGO Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD).
“Countries across the world that have adopted such warnings include USA, Kenya, South Africa, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Taiwan, Mexico, and Turkey,” said Prince Singhal of CADD. “These nations have been able to bring down drink-driving tragedies,” he said.
According to official data, the fatality rate in road crashes involving drink-driving is high. Over 70 per cent of the victims end up dead.