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Obesity Strategy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 11 July 2017

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Questions (418, 419, 420, 421)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

418. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 191 of 21 June 2017, when exactly the national reformulation technical working group to agree targets for reducing fat, sugar and salt will be established; the person who will decide upon membership of this group; the person with responsibility for co-operation with the EU reformulation project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32428/17]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

419. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the data that exists in relation to sugar, fat and salt reformulation by the food and beverage industry here in the past ten years; the body which is monitoring the reformulation; the body which has monitored and verified the reduction in sugar in still and carbonated soft drinks since 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32429/17]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

420. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the details of the reformulation sub-group of the special action group on obesity; the terms of reference of the group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32430/17]

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Louise O'Reilly

Question:

421. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that an assessment of a report (details supplied) noted that it contained some unsubstantiated assumptions; the action being taken to ensure that the industry is being monitored in its reformulation targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32431/17]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 418 to 421, inclusive, together.

In line with the relevant actions in the National Obesity Policy and Action Plan 2016-2025, a Food Reformulation Working Group is being established and membership is being determined by my Department.

Ireland is actively involved in the EU Food Reformulation Project and is represented by my Department on the EU High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical Activity. The EU High Level Group is agreeing EU targets for reformulation of foods and beverages with Member States across Europe.

I am not in a position to pre-empt the work of the group in advance of the process to it being finalised, but I can say that the Working Group will be a technical group and appropriate health, nutrition and food experts are being identified by my Department and draft terms of reference are being prepared. The Working Group is expected to meet in early autumn to draw up a draft national Roadmap for Food Reformulation following which there will be consultation with the food industry.

The food industry, Food Drink Ireland, has annually presented their reformulation programme and updates to the Department’s Special Action Group on Obesity, the most recent being the Crème Report and the food industry have liaised with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland for validation of their work.

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