AUGUST 31, 2011
Put families’ health before special industry interests: NDP
Harper must stop blocking progress towards healthier diets.
VANCOUVER – Ahead of next month’s United Nations health summit, Canada’s New Democrat Official Opposition is challenging the Harper government to stop blocking a global plan to reduce unhealthy fats, sugars and salt in processed foods.
“Canadian families struggle every day to put healthy food on the table,” said Health Critic Libby Davies. “They don’t want to see their government become a mouthpiece for big food processors. They want their Canada to step up as a leader to help their kids live longer and healthier lives.”
The British Medical Journal charged this week that Canada is blocking progress on a global plan to reduce fats, sugars and salt in processed foods. Multinational food processors favour the ingredients because they are cheap and stable, but they are unhealthy for consumers. Poor diet is implicated in more than half of all deaths in the developing world and is a growing problem for Canadian families.
“It’s disappointing to see this government again blocking progress on a global health initiative—just like they did with asbestos this summer. Instead of always rushing to protect special interests in big industry, Canadians want their government to take a balanced approach that puts families first,” said Davies.
When it comes to public health, New Democrats are leading by example. In the 38th Parliament, they successfully passed a motion to limit trans fats in foods. They’re also the only party to introduce legislation to ban deadly asbestos exports.