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The Times reported that a relaxation of alcohol by volume (ABV) limits to help people cut down on their alcohol intake by helping brewers make low-strength options more appealing.
It reported that Beers described as “alcohol free” and “low alcohol” will be allowed to be stronger under plans designed to tempt drinkers into switching to healthier alternatives.
At present “no alcohol” beer must contain less than 0.05 per cent ABV and “low alcohol” less than 1.2 per cent. These limits could be increased to between 0.5 and 1 per cent and up to about 3 per cent respectively.
A relaxation of alcohol by volume (ABV) limits covering the products is reportedly awaiting sign-off by the next prime minister.
The plans were reportedly just days away from being published as part of a health disparities white paper that was drawn up by Sajid David before he quit as health secretary. And when Boris Johnson resigned as prime minister, it was paused until his replacement takes office.
However, The Times claims neither Rishi Sunak or Lizz Truss raised objection when the plans were sent to ministers for approval. And Sir Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, is said to be pushing the policy within government.
The industry has reportedly welcomed the move. Health campaigners however say it is "tinkering around the edges", instead calling for restrictions on advertising and price.