||France was the second country in the world to adopt a radical position with regard to the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, with a campaign recommending "zero alcohol during pregnancy", and compulsory labelling of all containers of alcoholic beverages (even Champagne). This position is surprising in view of the fact that no updated prevalence data is available nationally whether on consumption by pregnant women or on the numbers of infants affected by neonate alcohol syndrome. In addition, until recently, advice to pregnant women allowed one to two glasses of wine a day, good for the heart, and the consumption of beer was even recommended to facilitate breast feeding. Generally speaking, pressure from lobbies to have red wine recognised as a foodstuff and not as alcohol, or the famous "French paradox" reputed to prove that life expectancy increases with regular moderate consumption of red wine, seemed to leave very little chance for the message to be adopted in France.
After the issue was avoided for some twenty years, giving as pretext this French paradox, it suddenly came into the limelight in the media in 2004, the state fearing legal action against it (by women giving birth to children with foetal alcohol syndrome and considering they had not been informed of the risk) and this led to legislation that made the warning labels on alcoholic beverages compulsory in 2004.