WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (Reuter) - The American Medical Association and more than 20 consumer groups strongly urged the Clinton administration on Wednesday to reject a bid by wine producers to put a "beneficial health" label on their products.
In letters to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the AMA and the 21-member Coalition for the Prevention of Alcohol Problems, warned against the effort, noting that such labels would be misleading and could be dangerous for some people.
"The wine industry has only one purpose in mind: to sell more wine," the coalition wrote in its letter to Rubin. "The risks and benefit for alcohol consumption vary greatly from person to person."
The Wine Institute has proposed two labeling
-- "To learn the health efforts of moderate wine consumption send for the federal government's dietary guideines."
-- "The proud people who make this wine encourage you to consult your family doctor about the health effects of wine enjoyment."
But the groups noted that the labels failed to warn of the potential dangers of alcohol consumption to many individuals -- including pregnant women and recovering alcoholics.
They said the labels took the words "health" and "moderate wine consumption" out of context from U.S. dietary guidelines; some research indicated that moderate drinking could lead to a decreased risk for heart and other diseases, alcohol use could increase risks of disease for some people.
The groups urged Rubin, who oversees the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, to study the proposed labels before approving them.
© Copyright 1997, Reuters News Service