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Fine Gael sugar tax proposals at odds with stance in Europe- Lynn Boylan MEP

15 February, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has called on Fine Gael to explain why its MEPs voted in favour of more sugar in baby food, in light of the party’s manifesto proposals pledging to introduce a sugar tax.

Ms Boylan said:

“It would appear that Fine Gael is speaking out of both sides of its mouth on this issue.

In a pledge lifted straight out of the Sinn Féin manifesto, Fine Gael has promised to introduce a sugar tax.

Meanwhile, less than two weeks ago, in Europe Fine Gael MEPs voted in favour of dangerous EU plans to allow very high levels of sugar in baby food.

Thankfully the majority of MEPS voted to reject the ridiculous proposal from the European Commission to allow up to 30% of the energy in baby foods to be derived from sugar.

Has Fine Gael done a u-turn on this issue in the last two weeks or are its MEPs simply more concerned with the wishes of the baby food industry rather than with the health of infants.”

Boylan continued:

“A UCC study has estimated that obesity costs Ireland approx. €1.13 billion a year, with 1 in 4 of our children now categorised as obese.

As if this isn’t worrying enough, we are also the fourth highest consumers of sugar in the world.

The World Health Organisation recommends limiting intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake, and that a further reduction to less than 5% of total energy intake is recommended for additional health benefits.

Fine Gael must now explain how they can justify voting in favour of high-sugar foods in Europe, while promoting a sugar tax at home?”

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