The provincial government is enhancing its work to prevent new cases of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) by requiring liquor stores bars and restaurants to display FASD prevention signage.

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission is a member of the Alberta government’s cross-ministerial FASD 10-year strategic plan. The plan was launched in 2007 to address growing concerns about the effects of alcohol-related birth defects. The strategy’s programs receive $16.5 million in annual funding from the province.

While there are no official statistics on the prevalence of FASD in Canada the Alberta Government estimates that nine in every 1000 babies is born with it. This equates to 450 babies born in the province every year with the disorder.

The brain damage to an infant caused by the mother consuming alcohol during pregnancy is permanent. It results in developmental disabilities such as a reduced ability to understand communication consequences and experiential learning.

“A simple reminder in liquor stores or bars will keep the message that pregnancies and alcohol don’t mix top of mind for patrons” said AGLC president and CEO Bill Robinson during a press conference.