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de Brún welcomes new school fruit scheme

18 November, 2008 - by Martina Anderson MEP

MEP Bairbre de Brún has today welcomed the European Parliament's decision to back the proposed new school "fruit scheme".

Speaking during the debate Ms de Brún said:

"The provision of EU aid under a Schools Fruit Scheme will meet EU objectives in relation to CAP and provide a funding framework for initiatives aimed at increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables in the diet of children. This can help tackle obesity among children and can also have a long-term benefit for our fruit and vegetable producers.

"Eating habits and patterns are formed in the first couple of years of life. Therefore it is important promote healthier eating habits among children.

"Research shows that there is a tendency for eating patterns to be worse among low income families. The provision of free fruit to schools could make a big difference to the eating patterns of young people."

The new scheme will allow countries to provide fruit to schoolchildren half the cost of which will be footed by the European Commission. As former Health Minister in the north Ms de Brún has spearheaded a similar campaign for schoolchildren.

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