On the 29th of December last year I wrote here, “Anyone with even a modicum of common sense finds the Heart Foundation tick of approval to be an utter joke and a scam. As far as I’m concerned, that $hit tick should be given the flick.”
Dreams CAN come true. After 26 years, the ridiculous $hit tick is being retired. ABOUT TIME.
In this excerpt from a 2012 news.com.au article, you can clearly what a joke the tick is:
The Heart Foundation’s Tick can be found on a range of high sugar content products including Uncle Toby’s Fruit Fix bars (71 per cent sugar) Uncle Tobys Oats Temptations (34 per cent sugar) and Nestle’s Milo Breakfast cereal (29.7 per cent sugar) and Kelloggs Just Right (31.1 per cent sugar).
But try to convince the foundation that giving its Tick to foods with high sugar content equates to condoning poor nutrition and you’ll come up against a senior workforce with strong links to promoting the benefits of sugar, including:
- The NSW Heart Foundation CEO since 2003, Tony Thirlwell. Mr Thirlwell was in charge of a massive campaign on behalf of the sugar industry while working for sugar giant CSR in the 1980s. It aimed to convince Australians that sugar was “a natural part of life” and was not bad for people’s health at a time when sugar consumption was declining.
- A former senior nutritionist at the Heart Foundation who was also a former CSR sugar employee from the same time as Mr Thirlwell. The nutritionist also worked for the Low GI symbol program which features on CSR sugar products, Kelloggs and Nestle and has since left the Heart Foundation to work for softdrink giant PepsiCo.
- The marketing manager of the Tick program between 2006 and 2010, who had previously worked for the sugar lobby group Sugar Australia – 75 per cent owned by CSR.
- Mackay Sugar Limited, which owns the remaining 25 per cent of Sugar Australia, is also listed as a corporate sponsor of the Heart Foundation.
Mr Thirlwell denied there was any conflict of interest in his past and present roles and said his previous work with the sugar industry had no bearing on his current role at the Heart Foundation.
A Heart Foundation spokeswoman said: “Mr Thirlwell’s employment of almost a quarter of a century ago is not relevant to his current role and responsibilities.
“He is one of Australia’s most senior not for profit CEOs and anyone who knows Mr Thirlwell is aware of his commitment to making Australians healthier and how hard he works to reduce death and suffering caused by cardiovascular disease.”
Despite efforts to obtain responses, neither of the two former staff mentioned above would agree to be interviewed by news.com.au.
The Heart Foundation also receives sponsorship from Nestle-owned Uncle Tobys for its campaigns. Nestle research and development works with the Heart Foundation’s research team, which cites Nestle sponsored studies on its website.
Unfortunately, we are now seeing the implementation of a Health Star Rating System. Or the Death Star Rating System, as I prefer to call it. This Death Star Rating is every bit as much a joke as the $hit tick was. This system of wankery sees a product such as Sanitarium Up & Go given a star rating of 4.5 out of 5. Yes, a fake breakfast constructed of corn syrup, canola oil, “flavours” and other junk gets 4.5 stars in the Death Star Rating.
I cannot help but feel that it might be very beneficial to use the Death Star Rating as a good indicator of what NOT to buy. If it gets a high rating, DON’T TOUCH the product with a 10-foot pole. That’s how I would use the rating. You can probably pretty much guarantee that the product will be low fat, high sugar, non-food excrement in a box.
Here’s the upside: If you like to buy shit in a box, the Death Star Rating will make it easy for you to spot the shit with ease. The more stars, the shittier the product.
I’m very much looking forward to the day when common sense prevails and the Death Star Rating is ditched. Looking forward to the population, as a whole, realising that they’ve allowed food companies and corrupt organisations to convince them that shit-in-a-box is food. Very much looking forward to writing here, in the not too distant future, that the Death Star has imploded.