none

FOOD MANUFACTURERS ARE TOO SWEET

25-07-2017
by 
in 
Does Australia need tighter regulations around food manufacturing?

With the vast majority of packaged foods containing added sugar, and Heinz under fire for branding highly sugary processed food as 'healthy fruit snacks', the Australian food market may be about to undergo an overhaul. 

Calls for changes to regulation around the labeling and inclusion of added sugar in food products have been coming fast, as the Federal Court considers Heinz's alleged misleading conduct,  claiming a snack that contains nearly 70 percent sugar was a healthy food for toddlers. 

Heinz promotes Shredz as being "99 percent fruit and veg" and a way to introduce toddlers to healthy eating.  

But in its trial opening in Adelaide, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission told the court a nutritional expert has labelled the product as a confectionery more in line with junk food than fruit. 

Lawyer Tom Duggan said the product is predominantly made from fruit juice concentrate and pastes, while Heinz presented Shredz as a healthy food with the same nutritional value as fresh fruit and vegetables. 

"Apple juice concentrate is a form of added sugar... this is not a nutritious alternative to fruit and vegetables, as displayed on the packaging," he said. 

"Good sugars are an integral part of a healthy diet, and we need to be able to separate sugars naturally present in dairy, fruits and vegetables from sugars added during manufacturing," said George Institute for Global Health at the University of NSW's Professor Bruce Neal.

The institute conducted the study which found almost 70% of packaged foods contained added sugar, analysing over 34,000 packaged foods. 

''Added sugars are empty calories and a major contributing factor to the obesity epidemic and tooth decay," he said.

Researchers analysed more than 34,000 packaged foods - more than 18,000 discretionary foods and nearly 16,000 core foods like milk, bread and cheese.

Based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines, a significantly higher proportion of discretionary foods contained added sugar compared to core foods, 87 per cent versus 52 per cent.

Currently, just over half of Australians consume more sugar than is recommended, and the country has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. 

Many lobby groups insist that better, clearer labeling is key to reducing the negative impact on Australian consumers. 

Related news & editorials

  1. 26.04.2018
    26.04.2018
    by      In
    Work to transform the Commonwealth Games Village to form part of a 200-hectare Gold Coast health and knowledge precinct has begun. 
    The project is spearheaded by the City of Gold Coast in collaboration with the Queensland Government, Griffith University and Gold Coast Health is part of a $550... Read More
  2. 26.04.2018
    26.04.2018
    by      In
    It's all about the jobs in Wodonga, where 15 new businesses will benefit from the regional clusters investment scheme, set to grant $5 million to businesses over two years. 
    Australian Industry Group regional manager Tim Farrah said that the initiative would support businesses in regional areas,... Read More
  3. 26.04.2018
    26.04.2018
    by      In
    The Chinese government has doubled down on its import restrictions for recycleable and waste material, building on its previous bans to include more kinds of items. 
    In 2017, China placed an import ban on 24 kinds of solid waste, which it had previously imported from dozens of other countries and... Read More
  4. 26.04.2018
    26.04.2018
    by      In
    A $1.5 million Local Industry Fund for Transition grant is helping Holden Special Vehicles embark on a $12 million project that will create at least fifty new jobs, all suitable for ex-auto workers.
    As part of its project, the company has established a purpose-built facility and purchased new high-... Read More