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Regulation of food claims welcomed

8 April 2013

Regulation of food claims welcomed

Bringing in regulation for health claims made on food labels is definitely a step in the right direction, but the Green Party looks forward to further strengthening.

The Minister for Food Safety signed a new standard this weekend that means that health claims on food are restricted, but the standard doesn’t address the unhealthy nature of any products.

“It is particularly good to see the standards for claims around low fat and low sugar content spelt out,” said Green Party food spokesperson Mojo Mathers.

“However the standards fall short in that they do not identify foods that are high in added sugar, fats and salt.

“Neither these regulations, nor the voluntary star-rating scheme that the Government is working on, will help consumers with the real challenge of identifying foods that are bad for your health.

“Industry resists any scheme that identifies foods that are bad for people’s health, but that is what we need if we are to get real about improving public health outcomes.

“Food related diseases such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes are all increasing and taking a heavy toll on public health. Identifying unhealthy foods is one tool that will help empower consumers”

“To be effective, our labelling system needs to identify unhealthy foods that should only be eaten infrequently, not just the good foods.

“We want to see labelling standards that give people the information they actually need to make healthy eating decisions and that is the next step for this Government to take,” said Ms Mathers.

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