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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the politics of food safety « Previous | |Next »
February 19, 2014

Yet another example of the Abbott Government being beholden to, or captured by, a section of Big Business can be seen around food politics; namely in the shutting down of a commonwealth government website about the health star rating food labelling system that would help to inform consumers about their healthy food choices.

Adelaidejunkgood.jpg Gary Sauer-Thompson

This front-of-pack labelling system, which helped to provide an easy interpretation of a product’s healthiness and nutrition content had been agreed to at CoAG, when the traffic light labelling system, failed to get accepted.

The strategy of Big (junk) Food industry, including the Australian Food and Grocery Council, is to avoid government regulations for improved food labelling. They promise self-regulation in efforts to avoid government regulation, despite the demonstrated failure of self-regulation for improving food environments. Government regulation has come about because of public health concerns that the increased supply of cheap, tasty, energy-dense food has been the main driver of population weight gain over the last three decades.

Big Food is one of the major obstacles that many countries, including Australia face, as they try to reduce obesity and diet-related diseases to increase population health outcomes by informing consumers about 'junk' diets.

Sugary drinks and junk foods are now pressed on unsuspecting parents and children by a cynical industry focused on profit not health”—it's just like the tobacco industry behaves. Big Food is pouring money into fighting labeling, even though people worry about the corporate control of the food supply. That control its rarely discussed, even though consumers want to know what’s in their food.

Clearly the Abbott Government is not interested in prevention. For them obesity is due to lack of self-control---food choice is a matter of personal responsibility--- not the modern food environment. They ignore the way that the food environment greatly influences personal choice.Marketing is the elephant in the room of childhood obesity. It overwhelmingly influences kids to prefer, demand and consume junk foods and sodas.

Labeling would solve lots of problems, but it needs to be mandatory. The rules would establish nutrition standards for foods. Products that exceed the standards will have to say high in sugar, salt, or fat in brightly colored labels (red, green, blue) on the front of the packages.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:02 AM | | Comments (6)


When Australia is open for business the politicians are usually keen to give business what it demands.

The senior government aide who, worked for the assistant Health Minister and who first made the call to pull the site down, co-owned a company that does significant lobbying work for the junk food industry.

"Yet another example of the Abbott Government being beholden to, or captured by, a section of Big Business can be seen around food politics "

The assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash and her chief of staff, Alastair Furnival, in pulling down a voluntary rating system that gave foods up to five stars based on its nutritional content, is dirty politics.

There is widespread public support for clearer food labelling.

The shots that were fired were likely to have been fired by the PNG police as the security staff employed by the contractor G4S do not carry guns.

It is interesting to note that the benighted garden gnome (or goblin) Nick Cater is very big on railing against the "nanny state" "food police".
Let them eat their toxic cake.

This is Fiona Nash's antic?


Now I can enjoy my fish and chips in peace.

I believe there are a few SAs here.
How about attending the March in March on Sunday the 16Th?
And there are marches in other cities as well - the link above should get you to each.