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Dental Association backs government review on sugar labels

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation has ordered a review looking at labelling of added sugars in food and drinks.

An option under investigation is ‘a pictorial approach applied to sugary beverages / sugar-sweetened beverages’ which the Forum has deemed worthy of further consideration.

The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) says this matches their vision of an icon label on sugary drinks.

“We have called for a sugary drink icon. This should be a teaspoon with a number indicating the equivalent teaspoons of sugar in each drink,” said NZDA sugary drinks spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole.

“As dentists daily we see the harm excessive sugary drink consumption causes, NZDA have been very vocal on this issue for a number of years.”

“While it’s good to see the Trans-Tasman regulator look at this issue, it is vital that action is now taken, the oral health of New Zealanders is too important to allow food and beverage industry lobby groups to water-down this proposal,” said Dr Beaglehole.

The Forum will meet again in November.

A consortium of public health groups is backing a NZDA-led 7-point Consensus Statement on Sugary Drinks.

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