THE NATIONAL DAIRY Council has said that the planned ban on cheese advertising during children’s programming is based on a ‘fundamentally flawed and inappropriate’ UK model which won’t work in Ireland.
The NDC says that the ban is out of proportion with the actual amount of cheese that children eat, citing research which shows the average daily intake of cheese amongst Irish children and teenagers is 10 grams.
The NDC also says that the proposed ban on cheese doesn’t recognise the importance of calcium in a child’s diet.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland is proposing that ads about foods which are high in fat, salt or sugar are subject to restrictions during children’s programming.
A spokesperson for the BAI said all submissions are being considered and that the body is not going to go ‘head to head’ with any single organisation.
“The BAI stands over the work that has been done to date,” said the spokesperson. “This is an ongoing process”.
The NDC has given in a submission to the BAI which it says highlights ‘serious concerns’ about the proposal to use the UK’s nutrient profiling model as a way of categorising foods in order to regulate advertising.
“The UK nutrient profiling model categorises cheese as ‘less healthy’ than diet cola,” said Dr. Catherine Logan of the NDC. ”We believe that this is at odds with Irish Department of Health’s Food Pyramid, which recommends 3 servings from the ‘milk, cheese and yogurt’ food group per day. Teenagers are advised to aim for 5 such servings”.
An Oireachtas Committee last month said it supported the National Dairy Council’s opposition to the ban.
The public consultation for the new code of advertising has now ended and the code is expected to be developed over the coming months before being introduced from the start of 2013.