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AMA urges food industry to stop undermining health star rating system

03 March, 2014

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton recently called on the Australian food industry to stop undermining the implementation of the new five-star rating system for food nutrition.

Dr Hambleton said the AMA was very concerned that the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) had been lobbying against the system on the day that the Assistant Minister for Health's office ordered the new system's website to be shut down.

"Even though they worked closely with the public health sector on the development of the new system, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has lobbied against the consumer-friendly food labels since they were agreed by the Federal and State governments last year," Dr Hambleton said.

"The system's website was to be a major part of the public education campaign to make people aware of the new system and how it works.

"It is important that consumers are fully across the system before the new labels appear on supermarket shelves.

"The health star rating system for food and beverages is a major public health initiative that will place Australia as a world leader in helping to reduce alarming rates of overweight and obesity in Australia.

"It is time that the food industry and its peak Council did the right thing and put their full support behind a bold initiative that will help people make healthier food choices and take some pressure of the health Budget," Dr Hambleton said.