Reign of junk

IT MAY be a new year, but some things never change. So on reading the news that the federal government has once again yielded to the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the chief lobby group for our food and beverage manufacturers, I find it difficult to feign surprise.

Last year we saw our government desperately lobbying the United Nations to drop a paragraph in a draft declaration of a campaign designed to curb the risk factors of non-communicable diseases.

The paragraph in question called upon governments around the world to rein in the production and marketing of junk foods, which you would think would be a good thing. Er, no. Not according to our government.

Now the food-labelling findings of former federal health minister Neal Blewett, commissioned to review food regulation in Australia, have been jettisoned as well.

The recommended "traffic light" system has apparently been ditched in favour of the industry-preferred Daily Intake Guide - those thumbnails on a product's packaging that indicate the amount per serve of protein, carbs, fat, saturated fat, sugars, sodium, etc, and the percentage of daily intake each represents, based on an average adult diet of 8700 kilojoules.

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