Cliona Ni Mhurchu

Otago Uni public health ‘expert’ blog gets it wrong

So much for the University of Otago?s positioning as so-called public health experts.

On Tuesday they raced out a blog post trying to shame Health Minister Jonathan Coleman into supporting a sugar tax on fizzy drinks here in NZ.

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It?s written by the usual anti-sugar troughers. Lets? remind ourselves who some of them are.

Dr Wilma Waterlander is obviously the lead author. She and Dr Helen Eyles had a lovely time recently at the 5-star Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh with its exciting social programme.

Prof Nick Wilson is a well-known trougher from the Otago University?s Wellington Department of Public Health Troughers, who last year was exposed by the Taxpayers’ Union over his misleading claims over a salt tax.

Then there?s 11-million-dollar woman Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu, well known for calling for a 20% tax on fat, salt, dairy, meat etc.

But hang on a minute, what?s this? Looks like they?ve been caught out botching their references. ? Read more »

EXPOSED: University of Auckland pimps junk science

It?s never a good look when a university gets exposed for releasing junk science.

Usually it?s Otago University?s Department of Arse Clowns pimping out wild claims in an effort to generate media coverage.

But with competition for funding troughing red-hot among New Zealand university institutions, it now seems certain University of Auckland researchers are tapping into the pit of junk science to get some headlines.

Back in July, the University of Auckland released a study with the alarming headline ?Majority of our packaged food unhealthy?. The authors include Dr Wilma Waterlander, Helen Eyles and $11 million trougher recipient Cliona Ni Mhurchu from the University of Auckland?s National Institute for Health Innovation, School of Population Health.

Now we find out the paper has significant flaws in it.? The Food & Grocery Council has exposed their research as nothing short of being junk science. ?? Read more »

What have we got for $317.5 million?

Readers will know I?m no fan of nanny-state troughers trying to tell us how to live our lives.

Over the last few years we?ve seen the gradual shift in the focus of the troughers from smoking to obesity, and this blog has exposed examples of public funds being used to travel the world troughing it up.

Over at Kiwiblog, there?s a guest post ?TEN YEARS AND $317.5 MILLION LATER?AND STILL GETTING FATTER? by my mate Carrick Graham, who knows a thing or two about who is tucking into large amounts of taxpayer money.

?For the last decade I have been tracking the funding streams of public money spent by the Ministry of Health on obesity related services via contracts with non-government organisations/service providers.

Collectively over this period the?Government has spent approximately?$317,565,118?to address obesity concerns in New Zealand. This figure was obtained from official data provided by the Ministry of Health and released under the Official Information Act 1986.

This $317.5 million figure does not include research grants or other funding for academic research on obesity. Research grants identified by my company Facilitate Communications, to just a few well-known researchers in the field total more than $16 million and represents the tip of the iceberg of government and other funding sources for obesity related research.?

Shows the $16 million being tucked into by obesity troughers like Boyd Swinburn, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, and others, is a mere drop in the ocean. ? Read more »

Coke’s latest PR move against obesity outrages troughers

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Video Link – http://www.sharewik.com/portfolio-items/the-global-energy-balance-getting-the-word-out/

If there?s one thing that fires up public health activists it?s when companies they target launch initiatives that seek to address concerns about their products.

The tobacco industry failed miserably in this and lost the war against anti-tobacco activists and their academic troughing mates.

But with tobacco now old news, the activists needed to find a new enemy and something to use the same anti-tobacco tactics against ? things like tax increases, marketing restrictions, sponsorship bans and health warnings, to name just a few.

With obesity concerns increasing, sugar quickly has became the no.1 enemy. ? Read more »

Hidden agenda behind fat taxes

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If there is one constant, it is the usual bleating from the Otago University?s Wellington Department of Troughers for more government regulation and taxes.

Take their regular moan in their Otago University Public Health Expert blog.

They?re so hot under the collar over Health Minister Jonathan Coleman rejecting their lobbying of seeing taxes introduced on products they don?t like, they?ll find any excuse to re-interview their own research.

This latest blog post from the troughers, including $11 million dollar woman Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu, together with anti-tobacco experts Associate Professor Nick Wilson and Professor Tony Blakely, is yet another insight into their insular little world of academia. ? Read more »

Anti-sugar troughers resort to push polling

Most people take any sort of Horizon Research poll with a massive grain of salt.

So much so it?s safe to say that if you ever want research or a poll to give you exactly what you want it to say, you go to Horizon Research.

And that would therefore explain why anti-sugar trougher Professor Boyd Swinburn used Horizon Research to pimp out findings from a ?survey? to the Herald?s Martin Johnston under the emotive heading ?we need to protect kids from junk food ads?.

As always the Herald is alarming and suggests the Government isn?t doing enough to stop kids getting fatter.

Ever since Health Minister Jonathan Coleman told the troughers to get knotted over their fat tax ideas, trougher Boyd Swinburn and his research cohorts have been pimping out ?research? after ?research? after ?research? trying to say they?re right and the Government is wrong.

Boyd Swinburn?s front group #ProtectOurKidsNZ clearly outlines their government relations strategy.

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So let?s have a look at the type of Horizon Research questions signed off by Auckland University Professor Boyd Swinburn and used to attack the Government

  1. Would you be in favour or against the Government introducing stronger restrictions to reduce the amount of unhealthy food and drink advertising and promotion to children?
  1. Do you think the government should not regulate, should restrict, or should stop ?using advertising on TV to market unhealthy foods and drinks to children?
  1. Do you think the government should not regulate, should restrict or should stop ? featuring unhealthy food and drink brands in games and competitions on websites aimed at children?
  1. Do you think the government should not regulate, should restrict or should stop ? sponsoring children?s sporting activities?

What?s even more telling is how Professor Boyd Swinburn is trying to say parents have no say over what their kids eat.? Here?s what he says about the research findings.

?This is finding is not surprising,? says Professor Swinburn. ?Parents do not like having to say ?no? to their children all the time. The pester power that the marketing to children creates really undermines parents? efforts to give their children a healthy diet.?

Not surprising? Really, come on.

And parents are obviously so useless that they are unable to say no to kids, so the only way to resolve that is to have Government introduce bans and taxes.

Maybe Professor Boyd Swinburn would like to start telling New Zealanders and the Government where the $16 million they?ve received has gone?

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Or maybe Professor Boyd Swinburn would like to explain what has happened to the more than $317 million doled out by the Ministry of Health on obesity service providers over the past ten years has gone?

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But that would be all too inconvenient.

 

– Martin Johnston, A Newspaper

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. ?? Read more »

$11 million researcher pimps tax increases

Both the Herald and Stuff are pimping the lines of Cliona Ni Mhurchu calling for 20% taxes on fat, salt, essentially all foods including dairy, meat and poultry.

Let?s take a look at this, particularly as Cliona Ni Mhurchu has tucked into more than $11 million dollars of funding for her research projects.

First there?s the usual academic charade of the study?s authors to make it sound more authoritative.

?A flat tax of 20 per cent on major dietary sources of saturated fat alone could prevent up to 1500 early deaths, the research – resulting from a joint study between Auckland, Otago and Oxford Universities – finds.

Here?s what happens. One academic comes up with an idea and drafts a report presenting their work. To make it more credible among fellow academics, they need to get more academic names attached to it. So the lead author pimps out the paper to known associates within the academic world who, in turn, are more than happy to put their names to it (and the universities they?re working at) thereby giving the effect that the research looks as though it?s backed by lots of academics/universities.

In turn these other academics then pimp out the paper as one of their own and as being ?published? and add it to their bios to puff themselves up even more full of self importance.

But back to this ?new research?. ?? Read more »

Anti-sugar troughers told to get back in their box

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Over the weekend Health Minister Jonathan Coleman ensured common sense prevailed.

Despite the noise of the taxpayer-funded troughers, who like nothing more than whipping off overseas to grandiose conferences where they talk to each other saying how disappointed they are that kids are getting fatter, Coleman has rebuffed their advocacy lobbying.

Tackling obesity tops the Government’s priority list ??but it says punishing sugar lovers with a tax is not the answer.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said on Sunday?there was no evidence a sugar tax worked and further regulation was not the answer to New Zealand’s obesity problem. He conceded, however, that action was needed on the way sugar-loaded products were marketed to consumers but the Government believed voluntary action by the food industry was the answer.

Read more »

Troughers demanding more coin from Ryall

Swinburn et al from the anti-obesity industry tucking into more government coin

Swinburn et al from the anti-obesity industry tucking into more government coin

Sometimes Tony Ryall must really shake his head in despair.? Especially when he sees his Ministry funded troughers bitching that the Government needs to dole out more money to them.

Yesterday I posted about?Obesity ?Experts? Ignore Simple Truths, showing trougher Professor Cliona Ni Mhurchu tucking into a $5 million handout to justify her calls for fat taxes, bans and labelling changes.

2013 Trougher of the Year Boyd Swinburn?must have spat out his Kellogg?s Nutri- Grain when he saw Cliona Ni Mhurchu getting a big spread in yesterday?s Horrid, talking up her efforts.? Read more »

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