Another Europe is possible

Lynn Boylan MEP slams Fine Gael for sugary baby foods stance

20/01/2016

Speaking in the European Parliament Sinn Féin MEP, Lynn Boylan welcomed that a majority of the MEPs voted today to block dangerous EU plans to allow very high levels of sugar in baby food.

‘I am relieved that concerns for public health and common sense have prevailed and the parliament today has rejected the frankly ludicrous proposal from the European Commission to allow up to 30% of the energy in baby foods to be derived from sugar.

‘It is however dismaying to see that Fine Gael’s MEPs voted instead to keep this dangerous proposal and seem more concerned with the wishes of the baby food industry than with the health of infants. Given Ireland’s serious issue with sugar, with the fourth highest consumption in the world it is shocking that Irish MEPs would try and block an attempt to reduce the amount of sugar given to young children and infants.

‘Ireland already has an excessive annual health spend of €1.3bn on conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Then again, given the current state of health services in Ireland under their stewardship it is not surprising to see such a dismissive attitude to public health concerns. 

‘The World Health Organisation recommends limiting intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake, and that a further reduction to less than 5% of total energy intake is recommended for additional health benefits. If the majority of MEPs hadn’t voted to stop the high-sugar proposals baby foods would have been allowed on the market which could have serious implications for tooth decay in developing children and childhood obesity.

‘Fine Gael’s MEPs must now explain how they can justify going against the WHO and scientific opinion to allow extremely high-sugar foods for babies.

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