Food Council sparks controversy

The Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) says it has serious problems with a proposed anti-obesity food rating system, but it denies it has pulled out of the scheme. Resource-6

This follows a Fairfax Media report that the council had rejected the star-rating system as being flawed and too expensive.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) reacted angrily to the report, calling on governments to make the system mandatory. Under the proposed system all packaged food should carry stars based on a sliding scale.

A food council spokesman said: “The AFGC is still engaged in negotiations to fix serious technical flaws with the proposed star rating system. These have been flagged for some time and have not yet been addressed.

“We support giving consumers accurate information to make healthy choices, but there’s no point introducing a flawed scheme.

“We’ve said all along the scheme has to be technically sound, meaningful to consumers and practical and attractive to food companies if it is to be a success,” said the spokesman.

Medical Association president Dr Steve Hambleton said: “The industry is clearly putting profits ahead of public health by undermining a voluntary system it helped to put in place.

“Governments must now bring the industry into line by making the system mandatory,” he said.

AAP

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