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Sugar review: re-writing history to expose a non-existent conspiracy

By Katherine Rich, chief executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council, FOOD Navigator, 19-Sep-2016. Last week, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a historical analysis of internal sugar industry documents. In it, academics from the University of California, San Francisco accused the sugar industry of paying three Harvard scientists in the 1960s to downplay any connection between sugar consumption and heart disease by conducting a literature review of ... more

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Academics’ criticism of breakfast cereals irresponsible, error-ridden

A claim by university academics that breakfast cereal is associated with obesity and among “the unhealthiest food available” in New Zealand supermarkets is incorrect and irresponsible, says the NZ Food & Grocery Council. The claim was made last week by researchers from Auckland University’s School of Population Health. Food & Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich says further analysis of the research, which made the claim that 83% of packaged ... more

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More food activist research from Auckland University

The latest research from Auckland University on packaged foods in New Zealand supermarkets is another disappointing example of food politicking dressed up as academic research, says NZ Food & Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich. “But what’s even more disappointing is that the paper is flawed due to its misuse of a specific food scoring system (the Nutrient Profiling Scoring Criterion – NPSC) that was developed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand solely ... more

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Opinion: 'ultra-processed' categorisation of foods is emotive, simplistic, meaningless

A New Zealand health academic has presented research that she says demonstrates that our food industry and our supermarket chains are subjecting New Zealand consumers to a "large exposure of unhealthy food products". The new study looked at packaged foods taken from four major supermarkets in Auckland in 2011 (just over 6000 products) and 2013 (13,406 products). Study author Dr Wilma Waterlander, of the University of Auckland's School of Population Health, said results found ... more

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NZ Beverage Council: Don't shift the blame for bad teeth

Reports in today's media have highlighted the incidence of young children with rotten teeth. Children as young as 18 months old are having multiple rotten teeth pulled out as parents feed toddlers soft drinks through sipper bottles, and chocolate biscuits and Milo as bedtime treats. The article, "Sugary drinks and junk food blamed as kids have rotten baby teeth pulled out" quotes Dr Rob Beaglehole, principal dental officer for Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, who is ... more

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Auckland University wants to tax bread, cereal, meat, eggs and milk

A call by Auckland University academics to tax New Zealand families’ staple foods such as bread, milk, eggs and meat is lunacy, says NZ Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich. “Over the past two years, the Universities of Otago and Auckland have called for new food taxes on salt, fizzy, sugar generally, fat and saturated fat. “But what’s new in today’s announcement, and buried in the small print, is a 20% extra tax on the staple ... more

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Right Of Reply: Healthy marketing for sports drinks opposed

Response to NZ Herald article  “'Healthy' marketing for sports drinks opposed” Original article NZ Herald, Wednesday Oct 1, 2014: The opening sentence of the article which says “Proposed changes to food regulations that could see sports drinks marketed as healthy as healthy are being opposed by the Auckland Public Health Service” indicate that both the writer and the submitter ... more

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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; ... more

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Wendyl Nissen resorts to Dirty Politics

Wendyl 1;       truth, democracy and journalistic integrity 0. Healthy food campaigner Wendyl Nissen claims to be the victim of a smear campaign funded by the food industry. A self-professed lay-person, Nissen has written her weekly column, "Wendyl Wants to Know", every Saturday for the past few years. She evaluates packaged food products for healthiness and suitability for children by reading the ingredient listings. Nissen is a  newspaper columnist, ... more


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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.

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