`Food police’ rules scrapped

The Press 06 February 2009

Pies and chips are back on the menu for schools after Education Minister Anne Tolley scrapped rules forcing them to offer only healthy food options to students. The former Labour government was accused of being the “food police” when it introduced regulations last June requiring school tuck shops to sell only healthy food and clear pies, chips, chocolate and fizzy drinks from the shelves. Critics said then that the rules would lead to children heading to dairies and takeaway bars at lunchtime for junk food, but nutritional experts said it was an important step in fighting childhood obesity and diabetes. Tolley said yesterday she had decided to remove the clause in the national administration guidelines for schools that said “only healthy options” could be made available to students. Instead, boards of trustees would be free to make their own decisions about appropriate food and drinks.

..Lobby group Family First welcomed the decision. “Research demonstrates that parents are still the gatekeepers of the family food supply and that parents act as important role models for children’s eating behaviours,” national director Bob McCoskrie said.

LISTEN Bob McCoskrie quoted on Newstalk ZB News