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Brewers aid responsible drinking with on-label warnings

LONDON - Two brewers, including the UK's biggest, have revealed plans to put health warnings on cans and bottles mirroring the notices that have greeted smokers for many years.

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Scottish & Newcastle, the UK's biggest brewer, and Coors are planning to feature warnings on their products "within a few weeks".

Scottish & Newcastle makes Newcastle Brown Ale, Kronenbourg and Foster's, and Coors makes Grolsch and Carling.

Product packaging will begin to feature the number of units of alcohol contained in each beer. This will be accompanied by a message urging drinkers not to exceed three to four units a day for men and two to three for women.

The messages wil read: "Responsible drinkers don't exceed three to four units a day for men, two to threee for women'.

Such labels are not currently required by law, but the government has been focusing on ways of tackling binge and underage drinking, and the brewers are keen to be viewed as responsible.

However, S&N has denied that the warning is health-related and says the move has nothing to do with any lawsuits that it could face over health problems caused by beer.

A spokesman for the brewer said: "It is not a health warning but a responsiblity message."

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