Deering criticises proposed guidelines on cheese advertising

10th May, 2012

10 May 2012

Carlow Fine Gael TD, and member of The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Pat Deering, has criticised the Draft Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) Children’s and General Commercial Codes.

The BAI launched a public consultation at the end of March on the regulation of advertising for foods high in fat, salt and sugar during children’s’ programming. Included in the proposals are to ban the advertising of high and low fat cheeses during such programming.

The Oireachtas Committee met with NDC representatives who warned that the implementation of a model which categorises cheese as ‘less healthy’ is likely to confuse Irish consumers rather than promote a balanced diet. They argued that the proposed BAI Draft Codes would negatively impact on the reputation of the Irish cheese industry when there are no justified nutritional grounds for doing so. Furthermore, they would undermine the planned growth in Irish cheese exports.

Deputy Deering said “The NDC have objected to the proposals and we strongly support their position, there are serious concerns among farmers and the wider agri-food sector of the targeting of cheese in this draft.

“There is no proven correlation between cheese consumption and obesity levels and in fact we are concerned that insufficient calcium intake amongst Irish children is a more serious public health concern.

“Together with my colleagues on the Committee we will make a submission to the BAI consultation advocating a common sense approach. We will be objecting to their proposals in which cheese has been ‘negatively’ classified in the draft advertising codes in the BAI document”