Sugar Tax lobbyists hitting up MPs Thursday


Election year always gets activist groups all fired up about beating their drum in the hope MPs searching for something to say pick up on their cause.

Blaming sugary drinks for the cause of obesity in NZ is the hot topic at the moment.

With?Coca-Cola doing their best to ensure they own the obesity problem with failed interviews like this one with Duncan Garner,? other companies Frucor, Red Bull, The Better Drinks Company are all looking increasing uneasy with where the debate is heading.

Energy drink companies like Frucor?s (makers of V), Red Bull and Monster are already under pressure with?bans on the sale of energy drinks to under 18 year olds in some EU countries.?

Meanwhile, back in New Zealand, The?dodgy anti-sugary drink crusaders?FIZZ?(who are basing themselves on the anti-tobacco group ASH) are stepping up the political pressure.

Typical of academic troughers ? whether it be Otago University?s mad-as-a-hatter Beowulf expert Professor Janet Hoek, or WO?s 2013 Trougher of the Year Professor Boyd Swinburn, they?ve targeted Green Taliban MP Kevin Hague as their patsy MP of choice.

This Thursday?Fizz will be?presenting?lobbying their ?Option to reduce sugar sweetened beverage consumption (SSB) in NZ? authored by the NZ Beverage Guidance Panel to MPs.

Not surprisingly they?re very keen on Kevin Hague, even bestowing on him the title ?Hon Kevin Hague?? Yeah nah.

There?s also outgoing Maori co-leader and plain packaging advocate Tariana Turia and ex-health minister Annette King. All have agreed to turn up and ?receive? the policy brief from Fizz lobbyists.

One thing is for sure, the troughers have found a new calling and are using every tool in the tobacco regulation playbook against beverage makers.

They should be very worried.