The press release is dated today. The headline says, "NCL Challenges Myth that Some Alcoholic Beverages Are 'Safer' and 'Less Potent.'"
The subhead is even more provocative: "New Initiative Underscores Need for New Alcohol Label."
You can read the release here. That's the NCL web site, which is good if, like me, you've never heard of the NCL before.
If you drill down, one of their proposals is for every alcohol label to tell how many "standard drinks" the package contains. What's a "standard drink"? Here's what the press release says:
"...the common denominator for a 'standard drink' of beverage alcohol is 0.6 fluid ounces of pure alcohol. Based on this amount of alcohol, a standard drink consists of a 12-ounce bottle or can of regular beer (5% alcohol), a 5-ounce glass of regular (dinner) wine (12% alcohol), and a 1.5 ounce drink of 80 proof (40% alcohol) distilled spirits or liquor (either straight or in a mixed drink)."
I think they meant "or" in that sentence, rather than "and," but you get the point. This drink equivalency thing has been pushed by the Distilled Spirits Council for years.
But this idea of having every label tell how many "standard drinks" the package contains is new. By their calculations, a 12-ounce can or bottle of beer contains one standard drink, a 750 ml bottle of table wine contains 5 standard drinks, and a 750 ml bottle of 80° proof spirits contains 17 standard drinks.
Of course, nothing is standard at my house. Here, we drink Chuck-sized drinks, and don't get anything like 17 per bottle. Eight or nine, maybe.
But what is interesting and important about this is that here is a venerable, 100-year-old consumer advocacy group that is proposing a common sense alcohol policy without the sensationalized accusations you usually see, which is why the only place you'll probably read about it is here.