NSW Greens out to ban junk food in schools
THE NSW Greens will introduce legislation to ban the sale and advertising of "junk" foods in schools when a new parliament is formed after Saturday's state election.
The party is expected to win at least one lower house seat and could hold the balance of power in the Upper House.
It wants a "traffic-light" labelling system on all packaged foods and in fast-food outlets.
Greens MP David Shoebridge says the system already exists in the UK.
"We know that red, amber and green signals on salt, fat and sugar are the very kind of signals that allow consumers to make the right decisions as they're making those quick decisions heading down the grocery aisles," Mr Shoebridge said in Sydney today.
Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton said NSW school canteens already used the traffic-light labelling system and red-light foods could only be sold twice a term.
"The fast-food companies and some of the manufacturers of various junk foods sneak into the schools by sponsoring various programs," Dr Stanton said at the same press conference.
Mr Shoebridge said the NSW Greens would take action once parliament was formed after the election.
"We will be putting legislation before the state government to ban the promotion and the sale of junk foods in any schools here in New South Wales," he said.
Other Greens proposals include banning the advertising of foods high in fat, sugar and salt during prime television hours for children.
In addition to the proposed traffic-light system, The Greens want warnings on products containing artificial trans fats, artificial food dyes associated with hyperactivity disorders in children, and foods derived from genetically modified organisms.
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown, who joined Mr Shoebridge and Dr Stanton for the announcement, said his party was out to curb obesity.
"The Greens are the people who will take legislative action at both state and federal levels on doing something about the obesity problem which is growing in Australia," Senator Brown said.
But fast-food restaurants and fish-and-chip shops were not in danger of being shut down, he said.
"The Greens aren't there," Senator Brown said.
"Some other (political) party might be but this is a democracy."
Grrrrr ... seriously, in my opinion it is up to the PARENTS to determine what their children eat.
I hate the "legislate because people can't parent" attitude that seems to be permeating our society.
(I know I'm not in NSW but as you can see they are aiming to broaden this to a federal level too).