Unhealthy foods, such as processed foods high in saturated fat and sugar, pose a greater threat to global health than tobacco products. The sale of tobacco has become highly regulated in recent years and so too should governments tax unhealthy food products, according to a United Nations investigator.
At the opening of the annual World Health Organization (WHO) summit, Belgian professor Olivier de Schutter urged leaders to begin negotiations on a global agreement to stop the obesity epidemic.
“Unhealthy diets are now a greater threat to global health than tobacco. Just as the world came together to regulate the risks of tobacco, a bold framework convention on adequate diets must now be agreed,” he said.
A U.N. convention aimed at reducing the mortality rate and chronic health problems caused by tobacco products went into effect in 2005 after lengthy negotiations under the umbrella of the WHO.
The professor and special reporter on the right to food called for a similar agreement on junk food, which he says should include taxing unhealthy food products, regulating foods high in saturated fats, salt and sugar, and “cracking down on junk food advertising.”
He is also pushing for a complete overhaul of farm subsidies “that make certain ingredients cheaper than others” and for people to embrace small local farmers, “so that consumers have access to healthy, fresh and nutritious foods.”
“Governments have been focusing on increasing calories availability, but they have often been indifferent to what kind of calories are on offer, at what price, to whom they are made available, and how they are marketed,” said de Schutter.
Such measures “are essential to ensure that people are protected from aggressive misinformation campaigns.”
It seems nearly impossible that Big Agriculture, with their billions of dollars, will let this happen. But didn’t we say the same thing in the 1960s and 1970s about Big Tobacco?
In the end, good triumphs over evil – sometimes it just takes a few decades.
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Source: Fox News