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Greens delighted with new food labelling regime

24 November 2000

Greens delighted with new food labelling regime

The Green Party is delighted that the Australia-New Zealand Food Standards Council has agreed to new standards which will require manufacturers to disclose the saturated fats and sugar content of food. Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today's decision was a victory for consumers and for the health of New Zealanders. "It is also a sensible public health initiative which will help to reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease and diabetes in New Zealand," she said.

Ms Kedgley congratulated Health Minister Annette King for proposing the amendments to the draft labelling standard which allows the accurate labelling of fats and sugars on nutrition labels.

"The Greens have been lobbying for many months now to have dangerous saturated fats labelled separately from harmless fats such as olive oil. Saturated fats cause heart disease which kills 10 times as many New Zealanders per year as road accidents," she said.

"Many foods, particularly those marketed at children, are loaded with sugar as well as with saturated fats," Ms Kedgley said. "Parents will now be able to avoid unhealthy food that is laden with saturated fats and sugars.

"We are delighted that Mrs King took the concerns of the Green Party and health professionals on board in developing New Zealand's negotiating position and then won unanimous support in Australia today.

"Now people who want to avoid increasing their risk of having a heart attack will be able to avoid saturated fats in their food. This is an effective, commonsense measure and the Greens applaud this decision."

Sue Kedgley MP: 04 470 6728, 025 270 9088 Paul Bensemann (press secretary): 04 470 6679, 021 214 2665

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