New Delhi, May 28
Come April 2019 and all bottles containing alcoholic beverages will carry warning asking people not to drink and drive, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has said.
The move comes following a Public Interest Litigation filed by social activist Prince Singhal.
Citing Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages Standards) Regulations, 2018, the FSSAI in a recent order said the warning “Consumption of alcohol is injurious to health. Be safe - Don’t drink and drive” can be printed on the labels of alcoholic beverages—both Indian Made Foreign Liquors (IMFL) and the imported ones.
This warning can also be printed in the local or regional language, if any state desires to do so, it said.
“In such cases, there would be no requirement of also printing this warning in English,” the FSSAI said.
The food safety commissioners of all states and Union territories have been directed to ensure that the warning is printed uniformly from April 1, 2019, it said.
The PIL was filed by Singhal, who runs a non-government organisation Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD), in 2017.
“Drinking and driving is an intentional crime and it should be treated as a premeditated criminal act since the person driving drunk knows or should know that he can cause potential harm while driving,” he said.
Several countries across the world that have adopted such warnings include the USA, Kenya, South Africa, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Taiwan, Mexico, Turkey and they have been able to bring down drunk-driving tragedies, as not only does it allow consumers to make an informed choice but it also reiterates on the need to practice no drinking-and-driving policy, Singhal said.
With almost 7,00,000 road accidents annually on Indian roads, and 1,65,000 deaths every year, road accidents are a critical public concern which require immediate attention of policy-makers, he said. — PTI
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