Fine wines will be among alcoholic drinks to carry health warnings on their labels under a voluntary code which will take effect next year. Negotiations are continuing on exactly what will appear on the labels as part of the government crackdown on binge drinking and alcohol abuse. The Wine and Spirits Trade association warned of the considerable burden to small wine producers. Britain is not alone in Europe: French alcoholic drinks will soon carry a logo of a pregnant woman with a cross through it. The Times’ medical expert writes that it is not as easy to justify sticking a health warning on every bottle of drink as it is to defend their use on cigarette packets because alcohol, when taking in moderation, is beneficial. Simon Heffer wonders where it will end and suggests food is the obvious next target with such exciting slogans, such as “too many of these burgers will make you look like a pile of lard”. He says the Government is clearly convinced we are all completely stupid. The news comes as the Government begins the first national alcohol awareness campaign with television and cinema advertisements. The £4m campaign is aimed at the 18 to 24 age group and will show young people who think they are superheroes when drunk falling victim to horrific accidents, assaults and rape. A website will be launched on Monday to give all adults detailed information. The Know Your Limits campaign will include advice such as eat before drinking, think about the size of your drink, drink lighter beers, set a drinks budget, have a strategic soft drink avoid drinking in rounds, be your own man, use more mixers and plan your route home. Celebrity sommelier Matt Skinner has dismissed the plans as farcical. He asked whether the government planned to put the same stark messages on crisps or cans of Coke. Skinner, who works with Jamie Oliver in his Fifteen restaurant, admitted irresponsible drinking did damage health. But he pointed out that wine also contained antioxidants which have health benefits. Tony Havin, restaurant manager at Marco Pierre White's Mirabelle, claimed it would be "sacrilegious". He maintained that part of the pleasure of drinking wine was in the design of the label. This would be defaced if covered by a health warning. The Times 14/10/06 page 5, page 23 (Leader) The Daily Telegraph 14/10/06 page 1, page 25 (Simon Heffer on Saturday) The Guardian 14/10/06 page 13 Daily Mail 14/10/06 page 40