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Right Of Reply: setting the record straight on food


Right of Reply: new service launched, dedicated to getting the facts right on food

One of the most frustrating aspects of working in and around the food industry, is having your industry and it’s products regularly mis-represented in the media.

In their efforts to cover some of the complex issues, non-technical journalists with limited space and time often leave the public with only part of the story.

Foods often suffer in the never-ending search for headlines; where bad or controversial news tends to get more coverage than good news, where any hint of adverse effect is seized on, and the concept of risk versus benefit often goes un-explained.

More worryingly, it has become fashionable to portray the food industry, and in particular the multinationals, as profit-driven, unethical, and responsible for a whole range of society’s health issues.

In this narrative, food additives are lumped together as evil and unnecessary, “processed foods” are presented as nutritionally inferior, ingredients such as sugar and salt are demonised, and anything “natural” is always preferable to anything “artificial” (man-made).

Our regulators are either portrayed as unduly influenced by business, or as bureaucrats with no understanding of the difficulties faced by businesses.

Sometimes the reported facts are wrong; sometimes the coverage is unbalanced; sometimes the other side of the story is completely missing.

It is difficult to get retractions, corrections or explanations published, and courtesy of the internet, the original article or news item lives on, helping to perpetuate another myth or prolong another public misconception.

We would like to try and redress the balance.

Any company, organisation or individual who feels that a food product or food-related issue has been unfairly represented in the New Zealand media is invited to write and submit an article to correct the facts – we will publish it online in a dedicated section here on the FoodWorks website, called “Right Of Reply”.

While we can’t promise equivalent exposure to the newspaper, magazine or television service that first published the inaccuracy, we can at least create a permanent web presence that will be visible whenever anyone uses Google to search for the particular product or issue in question.

The article:

- should reference the original media item – the publication it appeared in, title or headline, page number or website address (URL).

- may include a photo of the affected product, packaging, and/or ingredient listing.

- must only contain content that is factual, non-emotive, and non-abusive.

- should if possible include references and links to any supporting technical, scientific or legislative material quoted.

- can be published anonymously, if preferred, to protect privacy, employment and/or commercial relationships.

If you see a food product, or food-related issue, that you feel has not been fairly treated in the media, and you would like to submit an article, please send it to Chris Newey, Editor, FoodWorks: [email protected].

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RIGHT OF REPLY:

Any New Zealand food producer, organisation or individual who feels that a product or food category has been unfairly represented in the media is invited to write and submit an article to correct the facts, for publication under Right Of Reply.

The article:
- should reference the original media item - the publication it appeared in, title or headline, page number or website address (URL).
- may include a photo of the affected product, packaging, and/or ingredient listing.
- must only contain content that is factual, non-emotive, and non-abusive.
- should if possible include references and links to any supporting technical, scientific or legislative material quoted.

FoodWorks Online Limited retains editorial rights over any content published on this website. We reserve the right to edit, modify or not publish any material submitted.

If you have an article to submit, please send it Chris Newey, Editor, FoodWorks:
[email protected].