Cheesed off farmers should make voices heard

Fine Gael Party Chairman and TD for Laois / Offaly, Charlie Flanagan, has today (Friday) called on farmers and producers to make their views known to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), following its proposal to include a ban on cheese adverts before 9pm as part of its review of the Children’s Communication Code.

Deputy Flanagan had previously described the proposals in the Dáil as ‘the nanny state gone mad’.

“I would encourage all stakeholders, including farmers and producers, to avail of this opportunity to make their views known to the BAI. It is well documented that dairy products and the calcium they contain play a crucial part in the diet of children and teenagers. Parental guidance and advice has a role to play here without the necessity of a blanket ban.

“The imported model of assessment being used by the BAI is both out-dated and flawed. Negotiations should take place between the Departments of Health, Agriculture and Communications so that independent Irish research is commissioned as a matter of urgency.

“Harvest 2020 is critical to the future development of the food and drink industry. Ambitious targets have been set and I am optimistic that they can be achieved. I have met with the various interest groups on this matter and operators in the dairy sector have expressed concern that the draft code may restrict the advertising of cheese to children.

Deputy Flanagan added that he was also in contact with the Department of Health, Department of Agriculture and Food and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources on this important issue.”

His call comes on foot of the second round of public consultation on the Children’s Communication Code which opens on Friday, March 30.

The first step in this consultation involved the development of a consultation document, which emerged from the recommendations of an expert working group.

This was put out to public consultation last autumn and it solicited 226 responses from a variety of stakeholders. Following consideration of the responses, the Authority has now developed a draft Code. The phase of public consultation runs for a period of eight weeks.




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