On July 17, Australian and New Zealand Food Forum Ministers will meet to decide on which label will be used as the mandatory health warning label to be placed on all alcohol products sold in both countries.

An evidence-based health warning label (below) represents the best opportunity to increase awareness and health literacy on the harms from alcohol use during pregnancy.

Health Warning: Alcohol can cause lifelong harm to your baby

We all care about the future of our children.

Add your name to the list of people calling for a best practice health warning label by endorsing the letter below.

An Open Letter to the Ministers of the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum for Food Regulation (The Forum) on their pending pregnancy health warning decision

Dear Ministers,

In recognition of the serious and lifelong harms from prenatal alcohol exposure, we, the undersigned, call on you to mandate the effective health warning label (shown above) that has been carefully developed with the expertise within Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

Every child has the right to reach their full potential. Current and future generations are counting on you; they deserve best practice labelling. This means a visible, consistent and clear health warning label. Your voting in favour of the evidence-based label will leave behind an incredible legacy and also contribute to honouring the lives of countless Australians and New Zealanders that have been harmed to date.

We recognise that the Forum has requested a review of the evidence underpinning the best practice label that has been proposed by FSANZ. Concerns have been raised about the inclusion of red ink in the design as well as the proposed signal wording “HEALTH WARNING”. It has been perceived that these design factors, shown in research to increase consumer attention, may place an undue burden on the alcohol industry. We assert that weakening such aspects of the label would jeopardise health literacy for consumers in both countries and fail to achieve the Forum’s stated aim to “maximise the effectiveness of food safety communication.” The inclusion of the colour red and the signal header clearly aligns with the Forum’s own principles and criteria “That information on food labels be presented in a clear and comprehensible manner to enhance understanding across all levels of the population.”

A decision to accept less than best practice is not just a matter of concern for the citizens of Australia, it has consequences for generations of New Zealanders. We commend, and are grateful to the New Zealand Minister for Food Safety Hon Damien O’Connor who, along with other Forum Ministers, have endorsed the best practice label that includes the red colour and signal wording. In New Zealand, we exercise our public health obligations through the Treaty of Waitangi (between the Crown and Māori), and share in common with Australia the commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, along with other important Human Rights instruments. Today, ethnic inequities in the harms from prenatal alcohol exposure remain pronounced, and preventable. Action taken to reduce harm can enable our respective countries to be healthier as well as fairer.

In the last decade, consumers have endured misinformation and the minimisation of this health message as a result of abdicating the responsibility to the alcohol industry. We ask that you set a far higher standard so that the next generation are not burdened with the health and social costs arising from ineffectual prevention efforts. Our team of five million in Aotearoa New Zealand is counting on you.

Signed,

Kookiri ki Taamakimakaurau Trust
New Zealand Drug Foundation
Te Hā o Hine-ahu-one Palmerston North Women's Health Collective

Below are the names of 550+ (and growing!) individuals and organisations that have signed the above open letter. They represent parents, caregivers and supporters of loved ones with FASD, teachers/principals, psychologists and neuropsychologists, counsellors, social workers, nurses, doctors, addiction specialists, speech language therapists, learning support officers, public health physicians, health promoters, Paediatricians, Youth Health practitioners, dietitians, lawyers, church members, researchers, farmers, students and numerous New Zealanders (and others) wanting to protect our future from the lifelong harms of prenatal alcohol exposure. 

Scroll past the names to add your support!

Counties Manukau Health

New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine

Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand / Runanga Whakapiki Ake i te Hauora o Aotearoa

Ngā Māia ki Tāmaki Makaurau

Tairawhiti FASD Community Working Group

Whānau āwhina Plunket

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua

New Zealand Medical Association

Hauora Manawa Aotearoa

Community Action Youth and Drugs (CAYAD) Tāmaki Makaurau

New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance

Faye Blossom
Māori Women's Welfare League Incorporated

Mark Rainier
Psychologist

Kate Te Rure
Red Door Recovery

Luisa Taito

Andrae Gold

The Collaborative Trust

Alison Paulin
Talking Trouble Aotearoa NZ

Kookiri ki Taamakimakaurau Trust

Te Hā o Hine-ahu-one Palmerston North Women's Health Collective

Sue Hamilton
Educational Psychologist

Catherine Whitehead
Capital and Coast District Health Board

Laura Clayton
Child Adolescent Mental Health Service

Sarah Goldsbury
Clinical Neuropsychologist

Dr Doug Shelton
Clinical Director

Activity and Nutrition Aotearoa

Amy Bowkett

Prof Phil Garnock-Jones

Dr Stephen Jacobs
The University of Auckland

Martina Joseph

All Poppies Ltd

Siobhán Friel
Mum+

Saskia van Stockum
Capital and Coast District Health Board

Dr Kirsten Panton
The University of Western Australia

Dr Laura Kean
Specialist Maternal Mental Health

Christine Rogan

Associate Professor Anita Gibbs

Dr Grace Wong

Dr Marea Topp

Sophie Carty

New Zealand Drug Foundation

Dr Alison Vogel

Regan Kelly

Catherine Wilsher

Dr Leanne Young

David Chaloner

Gordon Rosewall

Carol McIntosh

Dr Felicity Williamson

Te Hiringa Hauora / Health Promotion Agency

Jessica McCormack

Cyndi Friend

Carol Henry

Sue McDowell

Angela Langlands

Vasanthi Bradley
General Practitioner

Daniel McLaughlin

Michele Edwards

Fiona Howard
The University of Auckland

Megan Tsering-Young
Neuropsychologist

Tracey McIntyre
Capital and Coast District Health Board

Hamish Milne

Donna Skyrme

Grace Humphreys
WDHB

Chelsie Dale

Dr Struan Robertson
Youth Addiction Psychiatrist

Alison Pask

Dr David Evans

Dr Jo Stephen-Tastard
Whanganui DHB Mental Health and Addictions Services

Hayley Paul
CAYAD Hauora Hokianga

Anja Ferris

Dr Mariam Parwaiz

Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Capital and Coast District Health Board 

Sally Yuritta

Karen Wright

Dr Bobbi Laing
The University of Auckland

Michele Wilcox

Sarah Chisnall

Saloni Patel

Trudy Heath

Dr Scott Metcalfe
Public Health Physician

Bethany Skyrme

Carol Fisher
Hokianga Health

Jean Reid

Fran Parkin

Sharyn Corneal

Caroline Childs

Joy Hayward

Prof Deborah Bailey
Director Paediatric Surgery

Dr Jocelyn wood

Bill Jaques

Gerry Smith

Dinelle Saunders

Phillipa van Abs

Maryvonne Goldberg

Ngaronoa Kimura

Claire Nicholson

Sandra Lilo

Rhonda Pritchard
Family Counsellor

Nicola Custance

Joanne Pram
Public Health Nurse

Saera Chun

Petra Hape

Vanessa Dumville

Daniela Johnson
Mahitahi Hauora

Gilli Lewis
Capital and Coast District Health Board

Sarn Vellucci 

Dr Katie Tuck
Paediatrician

Ngaire Rae
Mahitahi Hauora PHE

Cherry Morgan

Rebecca Peterson
Hawke's Bay District Health Board

Dr Julie Chambers

Dr Viliame Sotutu

Liz Read
Public Health Nurse Manager 

Dr Timothy Bevin
Senior Medical Officer

Sam Tracey

Chrissie Sheers

Jenny Johnston
Midwife

Juliet McKee

Colin Charan

Francis Hau
Hauora Hokianga

Dr Grahame David Jelley

Jodi Cash

Dr Nicola Nelson

Allen Macmaster
MidCentral Health

Arul Hamill
Paediatric Occupational Therapy

Marilyn Dyer
Mahitahi Hauora PHE

Olivia Stone

Catherine Walker

Josephine Nathan
Ngā Tai Ora Public Health Northland

Marilyn Burton

Robin Greenfield

Lisa Scott

Hugh Tomlinson
Waikato DHB

Simrita Singh-Parmar
Waikato DHB

Aisha Punga

Kerry Daly

Primrose Appleby

Nicola Gray

Lisa Hesp
Pegasus Health Charitable (Ltd)

Associate Professor Terryann Clark
University of Auckland

Dr Lynley Cook

Dr Toni Pumipi
Waikato DHB

Kathryn King

Wendy Scanlon
Pegasus Health & New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance

Maxine Boag
Napier City Councillor

Waldo Horomia
Turanga Health CAYAD

Dr Vanessa Selak
The University of Auckland

Dennis Veal

Andrew Casey

Val Millington

Melissa Pearce

Rae Jones
Mahitahi Hauora PHE

Carol McIntosh

Larissa Bootes

Dr Marie Burke
EastCare Health and Pegasus Health

Melwyn Le Comte

Brenda Rockell
St John's Anglican Church

Charlie Poihipi

Dr Stefan Fairweather

Dave Hookway
Ngā Tai Ora

Ross Porter

Dr Russell Wills
Paediatrician

Sophie Glover

Prof Joseph Boden
University of Otago, Christchurch

Debbie Christie
Clinical Coordinator Addictions/Early Intervention Service

Heather Jeffcote

Heather Clayton
Speech Language Therapist

Lisa Pratter

Scarlett Wells-Morris

Marlene Thorn
Addiction Clinician

Fiona Hourigan

Lisa Goble

Zaif Khan

Courtney Steele
Registered Dietitian

Jo-Anne Lavery

Andrea Bourke

Annie Vekony

David Chaloner
Addictions Therapist

Dr Kate Morgaine

Hāpai Te Hauora Tapui Limited

Consumer NZ

Auckland Regional Public Health Service

Lotta Dann

Family Planning New Zealand

Te Hauora о̄ Tūranganui a Kiwa

The HEART Movement

Kaniwa Kupenga-Tamarama
Kia Kaha Mama

Paul Barnett
Addiction Clinician

Margaret Adams

Healthy Families Waitakere

Prof Jennie Connor
University of Otago

Wilson Mitchell

Gythlian Loveday

Christine Pepper

Dr Ellen Dooris
BreastScreen Queensland, Gold Coast

Prof Shanthi Ameratunga
The University of Auckland

Jessica Jaques
Early Intervention Service

Prof Louise Signal
The University of Otago

Fiona Ross
Mahitahi Hauora PHE

Eva Lawry
Mahitahi Hauora PHE

Hannah Keller

Glenys Bucknell
Mahitahi Hauora PHE

Dr Kathleen Logan

Jodie Monaghan

Carolyn Lister

Vicki Te Namu

Dr Michael Williamson

Trish Porter

Judith Williamson

Dr Sarah Gerritsen
The University of Auckland

Debby Newton

Mark Simiona

Tracey Jongens

Victoria Jackson

Dr Margot McLean
Public Health Physician

Leigh Hadlow

Megan Barrett

Timothy Prebble

Alison Gray

Jim Pinckney

Kirsten Mullany

Catriona Ward

Vivienne Harding

Bonnie Scarth

Jackie Prichard

Melissa Anne Lovell

Suia Simi

Dr Rachel Beard
Child Development Service, Capital Coast District Health Board

Dr Marion Poore
Public Health Physician

Penelope Scott

Veng Ian, U

Dr Kate Prebble
The University of Auckland

Roger Waddell
Waimea College

Graham Smith

Dr Rebecca Bear
Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

Tanya Bagshaw

Annie Simi

Paula Saunders

Shereen Bell

Brian Humphries

Lee Tempest

Dr Grant Christie
The University of Auckland

Chloe Diack

Dr J A (Tony) Harley

Francesca Florence

David Bush
Methodist Church of New Zealand

Suzanne McLaughlin

Raj Singh

Cayla-Fay Euinton

Karen Booth

Kirsten De Beer
Early Childhood Educator

Joanne van Wyk

Hendrik Kieser

Rob Taylor

Rebecca Macniven

Tanya Radford

Dr Evan Wilson

Dr Tim Cederman

Dr Joseph Severs
Canterbury District Health Board

Shula Williams

Toni Paterson

Judy McIntyre

Debbie Thompson

Andre Hawke

Samantha Millar

Moki Raroa
CAYAD Te Aroha Kanarahi Trust

Paula Archbald

Rosalind Broadmore

Neroli Endacott

Mary Scannell

Richard Hayward

Lisa Bloomfield

Alison Russell

Maureen Kibblewhite

Juliet McKee

Glynn Topp

Carolyn Young

Janice Johnstone
Learning Support Officer

Levi Power-Hadlow

Mr Richie

Karren M

Chris Martin

Leigh Hadlow

David Broadmore

Dr Amy Sevao

Rachael Barton del Mundo

Dr Sarah Prior
General Practitioner

Deane Johnstone

Dion Howard
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Dr Rebecca Madge

Dr Marie Russell

Ced Simpson

Dr Stephen Howie
University of Auckland

Dr Fiona Graham
University of Otago

Catherine Inder

Marina Dzhelali

Sean Hamilton

Vanessa Mygind

Dr Sarah Hayward
Behavioural Insights Team

Velda Raybone-Jones

Rachel Ryburn
Rachel Upston Counselling Ltd

Tracey Marlow

Bernie Hetaraka
Mahitahi Hauora PHE

Mr Mulisa

Dr Suruj Deo

Ruth Littlewood

Georgina King

Barbara Lusk

Tracey O'Sullivan

Bridget Forsyth

Nikki Renall

Dr Michael Walker

Rosemary Sopp

Katie McVerry
Dietitian

Charlotte Peter
Dietitian

Sarah Wilson

Vicki Robinson

Jasmine Lydford

Derek Broadmore

Ann Donkin

Blair Donkin

Dr Rachelle Martin
University of Otago

Hemaima Reihana-Tait
Mahitahi Hauora

Marilyn Bird

Dr Cheryl Benn
Midwife

Hinewai Pomare

Georgia Wootton

Mr Winiana

Jordyn Johnston

Mr Jackson

Dr Subha Rajanaidu
Public Health Physician

Erin Smith

Alison Hewat
Registered Nurse

Shane Hantler

Wayne Levick

Kyle Webster

Yvonne Fletcher

Cherie Rhind-Robinson
Māori Women's Welfare League

Dr Tony Farrell
Mount Medical Centre

Jane Ross

Anne Price

Christine Banks

Joy Davidson

Josh Darby

Sara Knowles

Dr Elizabeth Eadon
General Practitioner

Kim Thorne

David Bush
Methodist Church of New Zealand

Gordon Purdie
University of Otago

Bruce Gilbert

Bill Holland

Sabien Blazek
Primary Alcohol & Other Drug Clinician

Sarah Haldane

Dr Alison Leversha
Starship Child Health

Andrea Boston

Michael Whareaitu

Dr Rachael McLean
University of Otago

Claire Salmond

Barbara Mulvay
Paediatric Nurse

Hilary Jane Thorne

Sarah Ninkie

Lesley-Ann Guild

Marlene Stratton

Dominik Schmitz
Social Worker - Mental Health

Dr Maia Tanner

Judy Wood

Catherine Houston

Karen Vis

Kerry Hocquard

Federation of Women's Health Councils Aotearoa

The Cancer Society of New Zealand

Southland Youth One Stop Shop (Number 10)

Paediatric Society of New Zealand

Korowai Youth Well-Being Trust

Te Ao Māramatanga (TAM) Addiction Nurse Branch

Creative Minds Early Learning Centre

New Plymouth Injury Safe

The Collaborative Trust for Research and Training in Youth Health and Development

Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Harm Waimakariri

Alcohol Action Ireland

Alcohol Action NZ

Pegasus Health

Alcohol Wise Hurunui Inc

Lynette Hutson
The Salvation Army

Leigh Henderson

Gabrielle Hogg
Autistic Advocacy Network NZ

Dr Viola Palmer

Prof Janet Hoek

Dr Charlotte Beaton-Rose

Ngaire Te Ahu

Nicky Ridley
Hawkes Bay DHB

Dr Sue Crengle
University of Otago

Prof Sally Casswell
Massey University

Katie Spill

Liz Clayton

Dr Cynthia Wensley
The University of Auckland

Rex Fausett

Dr Andi Crawford
The University of Auckland, Hawke’s Bay DHB

Eleanor Bensemann

Communities Against Alcohol Harm Inc

Dr Bodo Lang
The University of Auckland

Dr Natalie Walker
The University of Auckland

Celia Muir

Anthony Farrell
Mount Medical Centre

Dawn Badco

Te Aroha Kanarahi Trust

New Zealand Pacific Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Dee Carlier

Prof Andrew Jull
The University of Auckland

Cynthia Todd

Tamara Steadman

Kathleen Davidson
Sir Keith Park Special School

Kathryn Cumming

John Hurrell

Clare Connolly

Nathan Cowie

Dr Nicki Jackson
The University of Auckland

Lucie Hardie
The University of Auckland

Noel Marceau
Canterbury District Health Board

Prof Chris Bullen
The University of Auckland

Dr Ailsa Tuck
Community Paediatrician Northland DHB

Rachel McGillan

Hilda Daw

Catherine Watson

Dr Penelope Milsom
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Katherine Robaina

Movendi International

Hayley McDonald

Frances Barnsley

Linda Jackson
The University of Auckland

Anna Gundesen

Maureen Harte

Dr Susan Moloney

Claire Stevens

Catherine Philips

Morgan Booker

Kim Myhill

Dr Chester Penaflor
Registered Addiction Practitioner

Mary McLaren

Rebecca Williams

Chandra Quarmby

Dylan Booker

Samantha Bennett

Deb Cole

Macy Torrington

Dr Louise Porteous
Paediatrician

Jo Anne Letigio

Janine Locke

Dr Laura Hammersley

Cheryl Potts

Rachel Hawke
Auckland District Health Board

Katy Horrocks

Tayla Knightbridge-Eager

Rose Hawkins

Julie Fakahua
Hokianga Health

Dr Emma McNeill

Caroline Jamieson

Shannon Hennig

Craig Nielsen

Ella Broekhuizen

Alison Loughrey

Maria Luff

Gwendolynn Holster

Liz Ralston

Dr Deborah Johnstone
Catlins Medical Centre

Jeannie Boon

Anna Broadmore

Sarah Down

Margaret Ripley

Kate Harris

Nicola Sturrock

Maia Carr Heke

Nicola Murph

Lorraine Lagor

Gabbi Frewin

Dr Amanda D'Souza
University of Otago

Clare Munro

Luana Phillips-Govind
Maraeroa Marae Health Clinic

Caroline Fyfe
University of Otago

Prof Stephen Robertson
Professor of Paediatric Genetics, University of Otago

Nic Mason

Courtney Stubbins

Dr Anja Mizdrak
University of Otago 

Tara Adams

Dr Juliet Broadmore

Gillian Hawke

Laxmi Parbhu
Specialist Maternal Mental Health Service

Dr Paul Trani
Consultant Paediatrician

Judith Hall
Mahitahi Hauora

Sarah Slym

Dr Cayley Ingham

Dr Jude Ball
University of Otago, Wellington

Dr Rosemary Marks
Developmental Paediatrician

Rod Benton

Sonja Maitland
Mahitahi Hauora

Andrew Cammell

Anton Novak

Prof Richard Edwards
University of Otago

Julie Duncan

Moira Lagaluga

Dr Chris Perkins
Psychiatrist

Elizabeth Liddell

Sarah Crawford
School Nurse

Dr George Thomson
University of Otago

Heilok Cheng

Abi Alger

Denise Morgan

Waylyn Tahuri Whaipakanga

Donna Pritchard-Blunt
Māori Women's Welfare League

Susie Wills

Tom Broadmore

Dr Jutta van den Boom
Paediatrician

Geoff Digby

Melody Tuliau
Hauora Māori Manager

Jane Callahan

Heidi Holman

Suzanne Lopes

Dr Debbie Hager
The University of Auckland

Elizabeth Palmer

Rosalyn Jaquiery

Ellen Bernstein
Anglican Priest

Dr Tonya Sadler
Pegasus Health

Stephen Russell

James Lynch

Raewyn Porter

Dr Amanda McStay

Dr Fran Lowe

Nickie Hursthouse

Steve Randerson
Massey University

Shanae Hofmans

Upenyu Mawande

Eva Maria Luise Pick-Stone

Dr Bronwyn Armstrong
General Practitioner

Celeste Watson

Silke Koepl

Michael Wood

Christopher Ingram

Jillian Fleming

Jay Blazek
Youth Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Clinician

Malina Hunapo-Wallis
Midwife

Claire Alderson

Dr Joe Tighe
Psychologist

Paige Spittal
Addiction Clinician

Joanne Twin

Heather Aldridge
Reg Nurse Addition Clinician

Debra Smith

Lauren Allen

Dean Thorne

Sandy Russell

Morgan Smith

Debbie Fisher
Associate Director of Midwifery

Eilish Conn

Sandra Crews

Rachael Laver

Dr MaryKate Glynn

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