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Petitioning Australian Government

Scrap the UNhealthy Star Food Rating System

In 2014, the Government approved a voluntary Health Star Rating System (http://healthstarrating.gov au/) for food manufacturers and companies to use on their products. The Health Star Rating System ranges from ½ a star to 5 stars, and was designed to help consumers make healthier choices. Recent news media has outlined some issues with this star rating system, but the big problem comes in the form of food manufacturers and companies calculating the star rating on their own food products. 
 
This self-regulation poses a big problem in accuracy and accountability, is misleading, and creates confusion for consumers. As an example, Nestle’s Milo markets itself with a 4.5 Health Star Rating. On closer inspection, Nestle has been allowed to manipulate the calculation by adding an ‘optional ingredient’, which in this case is skim milk. Without skim milk, Milo’s rating would be just 1.5 stars.

Further to this, the calculation should be based on current food science and knowledge. While sugar is now a criterion - which is a positive step - unfortunately the rest of the criteria does not establish how 'healthy' a food like product really is. 

There are many studies that are now showing that saturated fat and cholesterol should no longer be feared and are actually an excellent, protective and necessary part of the diet to support cellular health, brain function, sexual and reproductive function, the immune system and many other important physiological functions in the body (when used sensibly and as part of balanced overall food intake).

Some studies to note

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/91/3/535

http://christinecronau.com/studies/

If you agree that food manufacturers and companies should no longer have the power to self-regulate this health rating calculation, sign Jessie Reimers’ (Facebook www.facebook.com/ getafreshstart / Instagram @getafreshstart / Twitter @jessiereimers) petition. 

To learn more about the shortcomings of the Health Star Rating System, follow the 5 Star Rating Cooking Show on Youtube https://www.youtube com/channel/UC4dcaazi6MWHgukY- fj-Aag, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ 5starcookshow/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/ 5starcookshow. 

Why don't the Government invest in supporting local farmers, subsiding and educating and promoting fresh vegetables, fruit and well looked after animal products. Why don't we have low cost cooking classes and educational seminars? Community gardens and chook pens in every neighbourhood for fresh eggs?

Food CAN be cheap and accessible. Every family deserves fresh, quality food and deserve to know what they are feeding themselves and their kids. Stop green washing the packaged processed products and start having an honest, transparent and open relationship with the food system.

Please sign and share this petition widely.

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