“New Zealand Food and Grocery Council Propaganda Spreads Mistruths”

Prescheduled for release on 2 January 2016

If you ever wondered why NZ has the highest rate of obesity in the OECD take a look at the above ‘propaganda’ video and the associated counter arguments

Interestingly, Nikki Hart’s Video was released by the NZ Food and Grocery Council (FGC) backed-up with a press release on 15 December. The video is one of a series of four  commissioned by the FGC

FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich says the videos are intended to offer positive and achievable solutions at a time when people are confused by often contradictory information…

The next video in the series will be launched early next year, and other topics include snacks and treats, smart shopping for healthier foods, and eating to live healthier for longer.

In March the FGC’s Health and Technical working Group hosted a breakfast panel session on food advertising to children. (somewhat ironic considering so many children go without breakfast in New Zealand) timed to coincide with the proposed Advertising Standards Authority voluntary Code of Practice on the same issue.

Dirty Politics

Readers may remember that Ms Rich and the FGC earned a mention in Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics” book.

Former National MP Katherine Rich’s emails showed that information was passed from her to PR specialist Carrick Graham (whose clients included tobacco and alcohol companies) and was conveyed to ‘attack blogger’ Cameron Slater who then used it to lambast health campaigners. Rich also gained notoriety after claiming all food additives used in New Zealand were safe, while some ingredients (e.g. artificial colours used in processed foods and soft drinks) had been banned in other countries.

Food colours are ‘fun’ says Ms Rich

Among other things, Katherine Rich thinks colours are ‘fun’ and may be used

‘just to add a bit of fun and visual appeal in some products. Wouldn’t life be dull without colour? Take jelly as an example. For many children, a childhood memory is being served a plate of wonderfully vibrant and fun jelly. The experience wouldn’t be the same if it was a colourless, translucent blob of gel on a plate. Childhood memories are built on such things… source

All well and good but shouldn’t natural colours be used? New Zealand food is supposed to be 100% pure. isn’t it? At the very least, it should be ‘world class’.

NZ processing aids left off the label

Did you know that under the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code a “long list of ingredients defined as processing aids” don’t have to appear on the label?

Take the example of cut fruit fresh salads … with a three week shelf life. The processing aids used to extend shelf life don’t have to be declared on the label in New Zealand as they’re in the “lowest levels” in the final product and aren’t considered to be addtitives, although they may have to be declared as additives in the UK…

“For that reason, it’s likely that the cut-fruit example wouldn’t be an aid in New Zealand, although it could well be the case in the UK,” says Katherine Rich, head of the NZ Food & Grocery Council. “Here it would be an additive and labelled if the spray remained on any of the packaged fruit as part of the final consumed product.”

Rich adds that our food code has just gone through a major revision and is up to date, and more importantly is evidence- and science-based. “Our food safety system is recognised as being one of the best in the world,” she promises. source

That last statement is enough to sound alarm bells in the mind of any healthy sceptic who knows NZ’s penchant for the ‘world class’ propaganda statement.

Yet on the face of it we seem to be lagging behind. For instance, on our food labels you’ll still find artificial colourings such as Sunset Yellow, carmoisine and tartrazine that are among those known in the UK as the Southampton Six and have been voluntarily phased out by the industry amid concerns there was a link between consumption and increased hyperactivity in children…

the European Food Safety Authority introduced a compulsory warning on foods and drinks containing the six artificial colours; as a result major manufacturers, including Heinz, along with fast-food chains McDonald’s and Pizza Hut and a number of food retailers have chosen to stop using them.

Meanwhile, Food Standards Australia New Zealand maintains these colours are safe and says the Southampton research doesn’t stack up…source

Poacher and game keeper

The National government  appointed Rich to the board of the Health Promotion Agency, where her primary role should have been to promote public health. This was considered by many to be a conflict of interest, given her lead role at the FGC.

Post publication of the “Dirty Politics” book, a group of 33 scientists and health practitioners wrote to Prime Minister Key asking him to investigate the possible conflict of interest. The result was all too predictable…

Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said Rich should resign, arguing that “Katherine Rich, Carrick Graham and Cameron Slater have all been involved in a systematic undermining of health promotion in New Zealand. She cannot tenably remain on the board of that organisation.” Rich responded by saying she had never been involved in undermining public health and found the claim very offensive. She said she put her heart and soul into the Health Promotion Agency and adhered to all parts of the Crown Entities Act.

Nevertheless, the Auditor-General was asked to investigate and conducted a review of the HPA’s board minutes. It declared “we have not identified any particular matters before, or decisions by, the HPA board that might raise serious concerns about its management of conflicts of interest”. However, the Auditor-General acknowledged they did not interview Ms Rich, nor did they investigate “allegations in Nicky Hager’s 2014 book Dirty Politics about things Mrs Rich is said to have done in her private capacity”. Rich said she felt vindicated by the finding, but the Green Party called for an additional investigation by the State Services Commission. source

Seen any other examples of government promoted propaganda? Let us know.









9 thoughts on ““New Zealand Food and Grocery Council Propaganda Spreads Mistruths”

  1. Yes another great piece of propogander today,N.Z Herald States support for N.Z Iraq unit on the rise ,really ? Wonder who the fuck they asked about that one ? Ask yourself it’s just been Xmas and New Year yet somehow the Herald has done some kind of poll and they now have this information ,bullshit ,propaganda government owned media.

  2. Also if you are looking for other propaganda ,look at the idiot road campaign against speeding ,zero tolerance for exceeding the speed limit,they make out that someone travelling 4 km over the speed limit is a mass murderer on the loose,the reality as posted in all major News sources is that in 2015 ,20 speed cameras garnered 25 million in revenue ,no mention of the average excess speed recorded,how about they run a campaign to tell idiot Kiwis not to tailgate or walk behind reversing cars,never seen so many people walk behind cars which are already reversing as here in the land of the angry.

    • What a pity the millions of dollars gathered from speeding fines aren’t used to improve the safety of New Zealand’s terrible roads. Maybe if they were the Arthur’s Pass coach crash may not have happened?

      • Yes and no mention of the horrific injuries the survivors will deal with ,a quick mention about amputations done on site ,when a bus tips over and slides on its side it’s a horrendous carnage situation ,everyone puts their hands down and they are promptly severed ,not funny ,we need to get beyond the body count.

      • I’ve been run off the road by stupid kiwis more than once ,last time in the South Island drunk kiwi towing a boat at full speed in the middle of a gravel road ,the moron was going so fast he didn’t even react ,I drove straight off the road into the bush to avoid a head on accident ,do you think he stopped hahaha no he’s a kiwi ,so that’s ok.If I took his keys the cops would most likely come and beat me up and arrest me.

        • Absolutely spot on. You seem to have the full picture. Problem resolution in Land of the Long Lost Retard; – beat up and put criminal charges on the victim. That’s is why the country is so socially regressive.

  3. Haha energy gap ? That’s what that inbred Kool aid drinking tart has between her ears.Amazing how often these victims of the nanny state upbringing will attempt to pass on their ridiculous logic.

  4. Food additives banned elsewhere but permitted in New Zealand

    Amaranth, INS 123)

    Vegetable carbon (carbon black), INS 153

    Cyclamate, INS 952

    Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), INS 320

    Ammonium phosphates, INS 342

    Ammonium malate, INS 349

    Guess this is the result of when poachers are appointed game keepers?

    • Hi E2NZ. I keep meticulous records of income, investment performance, and expenses for our personal finances and I just completed our family’s annual report. In New Zealand, we spent 9.5% our annual income on food whereas here in Switzerland the figure is 4.2%. We have always eaten healthfully, but the prices of the organic, vegetarian, and premium products were so exorbitantly high in New Zealand that we did not treat ourselves to these very often. Here in Europe, I can once again buy protein bars, organic products, and special seasonings for a fraction of the NZ price. My wife does not have to worry about prices when she shops for groceries the way she did in New Zealand.

      Incidentally, we paid 15.5% of our income of NZ $90,000 in income tax during our last year in New Zealand. This year, we are paying 14.8% income tax on an income of CHF 190,000 (NZ $277,000) in Switzerland. Additionally, VAT is only 8% here and it is 2.5% on food compared to 15% on everything in New Zealand. We live in an apartment here that is modern, warm, insulated, and liveable in winter for slightly less than what it would cost us to rent our similarly sized house in Wellington. We were only able to keep our living expenses low in New Zealand because I continued sharing a house with my friend after marrying. Here, we do not need to share a place to allow ample room for savings. The house in Wellington was a “modern” dwelling by New Zealand standards, yet it had cheap carpet, was cold, and it the builders were obviously the Kiwi baboons.

      Returning to the original point, people elsewhere can afford to eat much better than in New Zealand because grocery costs are more reasonable and professional people can also earn far better outside New Zealand whist enjoying better work/life balance and the company of professional people.

Comments are closed.