CALORIE information is to be added to labels on bottles of Scotch whisky to inform consumers.

The Scotch Whisky Association has said the industry supports providing consumers with relevant and useful information and that there was a "commitment to providing calorie information to consumers, but this must be done in a meaningful way".

It comes as the European Commission called for alcoholic drinks to list ingredients and nutrition information, matching the requirement for non-alcoholic beverages that came into force in December 2014.

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Current EU rules oblige producers of beverages with alcohol by volume of up to 1.2% (ABV) to list ingredients and provide the seven nutritional values per 100ml.

Now the EU wants companies to voluntarily provide ingredients and calorie information for alcoholic beverages above 1.2% ABV within a year.

HeraldScotland:

The SWA said it welcomes the Commission’s invitation to the alcoholic beverages' industry to develop a self-regulatory proposal aiming to provide information on ingredients and nutrition information of all alcoholic beverages.

Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive, said: We believe that Scotch Whisky should be consumed in a responsible manner, as part of a balanced diet.

"It is right that consumers have the information they need to make choices that fit with a healthy lifestyle, including calorie intake. The Scotch Whisky industry is therefore happy to provide meaningful information in a format that is simple to understand and linked with actual serving sizes, supporting consumer choice.”

Wine and Spirit Trade Association chief executive Miles Beale, likened the EU rules on listing ingredients and nutritional information on booze to using "20th century methods on a 21st century issue".

He described nutritional labels as "outdated" and added: "Trying to cram more information on product labels which have limited space is a backward step. People who want to know more about what they are drinking are very capable of going online and finding out for themselves.

"The alcohol industry has shown they are ahead of the game on nutrition information and have for some time provided consumers with off–label calorific content of drinks." The WSTA has offered alcohol calorie information on its website for two years, as have a number of drinks companies and retailers who all took voluntary action to help consumers find out more about their favourite drinks.

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The EU commissioner for health and food safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis explained in a statement, "This report supports the right of people in the European Union to be fully informed about what they drink.

"Moreover, it does not identify any objective grounds justifying the absence of the list of ingredients and nutrition information on alcoholic beverages. The expansion of voluntary initiatives from the sector has already been ongoing and is brought to the fore in the report".