Health Research Council

EXPOSED: Ministry of Health funded group running #dirtypolitics


State-funded group Agencies for Nutrition Action can now be exposed for running a campaign straight from the playbook of dirtypolitics.

Under the guise of reducing childhood obesity under the banner of #protectourkidsnz this trougher group has pulled together ?a group of motivated people? a group of other troughers to lobby for:

  1. Healthy food polices in all schools and early childhood services (?getting the tuckshop to match the classroom teaching?)
  2. Restrictions on junk food marketing to kids (?it is unethical to allow junk food ads targeting kids in the middle of a childhood obesity epidemic?)
  3. Taxes on sugary drinks (?to reduce consumption and provide funding for childhood obesity prevention programs?)

Some would say if that is what it takes to reduce obesity in kids, then that?s a good thing.

But that?s not the point.

It?s their covert lobbying strategy specifically designed to put heat on the Government and their paymasters at the Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council which will be their undoing.

Let?s break this down and see what they?re really pushing for: Read more »

Freedom of Speech – only applies to some

Some people just don?t get it ? especially the troughers, who continue to be hell bent on trying to stop anyone questioning their ideas.

Take 2013/14 Trougher of the Year Boyd Swinburn, who penned a letter to the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

Troughers love to bleat on about the need for sugar taxes, bans on fast-food and labelling of what they call ?unhealthy? products.? They just can?t stand the fact that if you watched what you eat, stop eating crap and did a bit of exercise the level of obesity would fall.

Instead, they think what?s needed is:

Society needs strong voices to promote public health and the integrity of policy- making processes. This is especially critical given the dominant paradigm of market- based solutions and the increasing conversion by transnational corporations of their economic power into political power. Nicky Hager?s recent book Dirty Politics exposed an apparent systemic approach being used by the tobacco, alcohol and processed food industries in New Zealand to attack prominent public health advocates

Society needs strong voices on both sides to hold these taxpayer funded troughers to account.? Read more »

HRC gets blowtorch from Steve Joyce – about time


Each year the Government hands over about? $80 million to the Health Research Council (HRC).

Now we see? that Science and Innovation Minister Steve Joyce is finally having a look at the HRC by way of a ?strategic refresh? to make sure it?s actually supporting the Government?s economic development plans.

The HRC?s Chief Executive Dr Kathryn McPherson can clearly see which side of the toast the butter is on when she says: ? Read more »

Dirty Trougher Kypros Kypri wants sunlight – but hides Doug Sellman


Oh here we go again. Trougher researcher Kypros Kypri seems hell-bent on getting some sunlight.

Problem is that his latest play at getting attention is at the expense of his writing buddy – mad as a hatter Professor Doug Sellman.

The Dominion Post this morning pimps yet another whinge whinge whinge by publich health experts troughers all moaning, once again about the Health Promotion Agency. ? Read more »

Crampton on the anti-sugar jihad

Eric Crampton writes at NBR about the anti-Sugar jihadists about to trough it up at a symposium about how sugar is the new health evil besetting New Zealand.

Via?Dave Guerin, I find that?Auckland Uni is hosting?a symposium: “Sugary Drink Free Pacific By 2030?” The press release notes Richard Johnson and Robert Lustig as keynotes. Lustig is famous for his “fructose is toxic” position;?Johnson’s pretty similar.

The first day’s sessions will discuss just how evil sugar is. The second day’s sessions will cover policies to reduce sugar, including a keynote from a guy who’s eating a lot of sugar and making a movie about it, a talk by Tony Falkenstein advocating a soda tax, a talk on lessons for advocacy, and one called “An endgame to SSB [sugar-sweetened beverages] in NZ by 2025?”

Tony Falkenstein is likely the same Tony Falkenstein whose day job is putting water coolers and filters in NZ offices: they’re called “Just Water”. I doubt he has any particular expertise in soda taxes, other than that they hit competitor beverages.?He’s also the one helping organise some class action suit against Coke and the beverage companies. I’d thought that part of the deal with the Accident Compensation Commission was that New Zealand didn’t really have class action liability suits; I expect that it’s largely a publicity stunt for Falkenstein’s water company. I think we had one of his water coolers before we moved offices; I think I can see a budget line item that the Department can pretty quickly do away with as part of our ongoing budget cuts.? Read more »