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Complaint about Darina Allen's 'ban on squishy sliced pan' rejected by BAI

Chef and television presenter Darina Allen said that if she was the Minister for Health, she would ban sliced pan.

Darina Allen with Northern Ireland Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew.
Darina Allen with Northern Ireland Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

THE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY of Ireland has rejected a complaint made about a comment by chef and tv presenter Darina Allen that ‘squishy sliced pan’ would be banned if she were the Minister for Health.

In their complaint, the Irish Bread Bakers Association (IBBA) listed a number of reasons why a particular episode of the RTÉ programme ‘What Are You Eating?’ breached rules of objectivity and impartiality.

It said that the programme, which aired in October 2016 and examined the Irish diet, looked at “the sliced pan category of bread in a wholly unfair and biased manner”.

The IBBA said that Allen’s comments conveyed the idea that a sliced pan was “the most detrimental product on the market” affecting the country’s health and “should be categorised with other illegal substances banned in Ireland”.

It also submitted a complaint that the programme’s methods of measuring nutrients was biased, and they criticised the “overwhelmingly one-sided perspective offered by the selection of contributors which resulted in an unbalanced and sensational report”.

‘Sufficiently intelligent’

In a decision published yesterday, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) said that RTÉ had invited representatives from the bread-making industry on the show, and that their rejection had been shared with the audience.

The programme-makers said they were not aware of the existence of the Irish Bread Bakers Association until the initial complaint was received in September 2016.

The broadcaster said that the suggestion that Allen’s comment about making mass-produced bread being made illegal could be interpreted as a factual statement ”is an exaggerated and subjective interpretation”.

RTÉ believes that viewers are “sufficiently intelligent and aware” to be able to recognise a comment being made in “a light-hearted vein”.

Read: Claim George Hook spoke about HPV vaccine in ‘ill-informed and irresponsible’ manner rejected

Read: ‘Harmful and offensive’: Complaint against Katie Hopkins’ Today FM appearance rejected

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