Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has described the proposals of the European Commission to allow baby food to contain huge amounts of sugar, as appalling.
Crowe, who is also a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on European Union Affairs, said that the European Commission is not surprisingly once again lined firmly on the side of big business and corporate greed, and against the health and wellbeing of vulnerable children, some as young as 6 months.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Ireland and its people already have a major problem and an unhealthy relationship with sugar and junk food.
“The news that the European Commission wanted to see cereal-based baby foods, for infants as young as 6 months, contain up to three times more sugar than is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and which would allow sugars to provide up to 30% of the energy intake from baby food, is simply appalling
“The Commission is firmly lining up on the side of big business and corporate greed, and against the health and wellbeing of vulnerable children, some as young as 6 months.
“It is ignoring the mounting medical evidence and concerns of health practitioners. The WHO also strongly recommends limiting the intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake.
“Ireland is already the fourth highest consumer of sugar in the world, and it is absolutely essential that we give leadership in efforts to oppose plans which allow very high-sugar foods for babies and young children to end up on our supermarket shelves.
“Already 1 in 4 Irish children are obese and now we have dangerous proposals like this from the Commission that will only exacerbate the problem. Sugar laden foods lead to a taste and addiction for sugar, and they have the added impact on developing teeth and tooth decay.
“Ireland is already on course to become the most obese country in Europe by 2030. Unless we take actions to prevent sugar saturated products coming on to the market then childhood obesity and all its health associated will inevitably increase.
“The European Commission is out of step and needs to be stopped in its tracks on this proposal to allow additional sugar added goods into circulation.
“I welcome that these plans were vetoed by the European Parliament on Wednesday.”