Health troughers not even hiding their dirty tactics

I warned food industry players two years ago that a war was coming and they were the targets of that war.

The health troughers, funded with millions of dollars of taxpayer funding, were going to target them and use brutal tactics like those used against the tobacco industry. Two years on I have been proved right and the attack is massive with calls now for fat, sugar and salt taxes and covering almost every primary food producer in New Zealand.

The health troughers aren’t even coy anymore about where they get their inspiration for their draconian efforts to control the New Zealand population.

Report co-author, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, said taxation would lead to behavioural change.

We know from previous research around tobacco, and a lot of the work that’s been done, that price is a really big lever in terms of driving behaviour change, and also there are an increasing number of studies coming out overseas, as well, that suggest that food pricing is important too.”

She said the proposed tax increase was affordable.

Except the health troughers forget that tobacco initiatives only ever affect consumers of the product…not every single person in the country. If people didn’t want to pay tobacco taxes then they simply stopped smoking.

Avoiding sugar, fat and salt taxes will be unavoidable for everyone, including those with bean-pole and half sucked throatie body types.   

The Food & Grocery Council agrees.

The study by Auckland and Otago universities found taxing foods high in saturated fat and salt could save the lives of more than 2,400 people per year.

But the Food and Grocery Council said taxing staple items would put them out of the reach of many New Zealanders.

The council’s chief executive, Katherine Rich, said the foods targeted by the suggested 20 percent tax increase were staples for many.

Mrs Rich said the proposed tax hike would make the everyday foods too expensive.

“Putting a 20 percent tax on eggs and milk and bread for example, on top of the 15 percent GST – you’re inflating the price of those products by, ultimately, 35 percent.

“That would make them the most highly taxed food items in the world.”

She said following the tobacco taxation model for food won’t work unless the tax was levied at a much higher rate than the proposed 20 percent.

“The tobacco model doesn’t work for food because people can give up smoking – they can’t give up food.

“People need to eat to survive and so that’s why affordability is very important.”

There is a war on now, and $100,000 per year blond Dorises sitting in corporate communications are ill-equipped to handle an onslaught measured in millions of dollars against food producers.

The media have taken the side of the health troughers repeating their every utterance and ignoring countervailing arguments.

This is just the start, watch them also propose plain packaging for “unhealthy foods”.

Two years ago the food industry told me that the war against tobacco wasn’t their fight, I told them they were wrong and now their unwillingness to fight is going to bite them hard.

 

– Radio NZ


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