Home > AUSVEG says health star scheme shuns vegetables

AUSVEG says health star scheme shuns vegetables

Editorial
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Horticultural body, AUSVEG has raised concerns over the roll out of the new Health Star Rating System as a number of vegetables tested by the lobby group did not receive the full five-star rating.

AUSVEG say that out of the 20 vegetables testing using the official Health Star Rating calculator, only half received the full five stars while other vegetables including pumpkin, celery and lettuce achieved only four and a half stars.

AUSVEG Manager – government and parliamentary relations, Andrew White said that the group was “extremely disappointed” that not all vegetables are eligible for a five-star rating.

“Science has confirmed the myriad health benefits provided by a vegetable-rich diet, so to exclude some of them from receiving an five-star rating is sending the wrong message to Australian consumers about what they should really put on their plates,” he said.

Food and health ministers from federal, state and territory governments officially signed off on the Health Star Rating Scheme late last month.

The voluntary scheme was developed to replace the current daily intake guide and was initially approved by food and health ministers in June last year.

“AUSVEG fails to see how the system would encourage consumers to purchase fresh vegetables, when it deems that celery – which provides a mere 64 kJ of energy per 100g serving – receives a four and a half star rating,” said White.

White says that the Front-of-pack labelling policy should be "well thought-out and backed by common sense.”

“With obesity on the rise amongst Australians, it is important that we convey good health messages. Awarding vegetables an automatic five stars would allow consumers to more easily determine what foods are best for them,” says White.

www.ruralweekly.com.au

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