Group opposes Professor's nanny state approach
14 August 2006
Food Industry Group opposes Professor’s nanny state approach
The Food Industry Accord is a world leading step in the battle against obesity says its chairman, Jeremy Irwin. He refutes allegations made today by a marketing professor from Massey University that self regulation is not working.
Mr Irwin said that Professor Janet Hoek is running a personal agenda aimed at making New Zealanders eat and drink what she feels is right and so taking away the responsibility of adults and parents to decide for themselves.
He said that “Professor Hoek opposes self regulation and just wants a nanny state in New Zealand.”
Since the signing of the Food Industry Accord in September 2004, a large number of changes have occurred in the composition and marketing of food products. These have been documented in a report to the Government which will be further updated in September 2006.
He said that while Massey University says that stronger measures are needed to address obesity the professor presents no sound evidence that compulsion will work. He said that many food manufacturers are producing new, healthier versions of their products while the marketing of many foods is now skewed heavily in favour of the healthy options.
A major review of the rules regulating food advertising and related advertising to children was completed by the Advertising Standards Authority in March 2006 and this is now in operation.
He criticised the simplistic approach adopted by the professor and said that banning advertising and compelling people to eat certain foods were examples of ill advised policies which would make little difference to the levels of obesity in New Zealand.