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Get a grip, sugar is not the 'new tobacco'

Get a grip, sugar is not the 'new tobacco'

25 JUNE 2017

Anti-sugar political campaigners, launching their election campaign tomorrow for a new ‘soda tax’, show their true colours when they make ridiculous claims that ‘sugar is the new tobacco’.

Despite attempts to frame themselves as objective and scientific, the leader of the “FIZZ” group, Dr Gerhard Sundborn, has previously described his work as a “political campaign lobby group fighting for the implementation of a sugar tax”.

In 2014, the Taxpayers’ Union caught out FIZZ for falsely claiming official endorsement of a Government agency. See: www.taxpayers.org.nz/fizz_using_health_research_council_s_logo_without_permission

Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, said: “Dr Sundborn and his group are up to their old tricks again, this time falsely claiming that Auckland DHB head Dr Lester Levy was backing and launching their campaign. Last week the Taxpayers’ Union sought clarification from Dr Levy’s office, asking why such a senior civil servant was active in a political campaign so close to an election. We were told that Dr Levy had actually refused to endorse the FIZZ campaign and even received an apology from FIZZ for falsely using his name in their advertising material.”

“Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitemata DBHs have all confirmed that they do not support Dr Sundborn’s campaign, nor do they have any staff attending his FIZZ conference. The claims this group makes, and the impression that they represent the health establishment, are wrong.”

“FIZZ is an industrial strength political campaign. If Dr Sandwants wants to promote a sugar tax, good on him, but he shouldn’t mislead the public, or use taxpayer money.”

"Clearly the over-consumption of sugar is unhealthy. But targeting only one source, accountable for less than six percent of New Zealanders' sugar intake, is costly virtue signaling, not sound public policy."

The 2015 Taxpayers' Union report, Fizzed out: Why a sugar tax won’t curb obesity, examined the effectiveness of sugar taxes in curbing obesity. It is available at: www.taxpayers.org.nz/fizzed_out.


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