Thursday 24 October 2013

Today's Candidate For Plain Packaging Is Sugar

Australia has plain packaging for tobacco, but we have been repeatedly told this will not lead to calls for plain packaging of other products. Oh no.

Well, actually, yes. Sadly, it can't be embedded but do go watch the 3 minute news clip here. It's from Australia-which-has-plain-packaging-for-tobacco-but-which-won't-set-a-precedent-for-other-consumer-products. Yes, that very same Australia.

My favourite quote was this:
"Health problems caused by smoking are insignificant in comparison to the health problems caused by the consumption of sugar" 
But, but, the Smokefree Action Coalition said this was nonsense; a myth!
Myth #7: It may be tobacco today but other consumer products will follow 
FACT: Tobacco is not like any other product ... Plain packs for tobacco will not therefore set a precedent for other consumer products.
Another quote from the clip:
"Some people have been discussing, and in my own personal opinion it would be an interesting area to investigate, whether plain packaging of things like soft drinks and [crisps], which we know are high in sugar, would be effective in reducing consumption."
Maybe we're all dreaming then, because this is exactly what Deborah Arnott of ASH said was a "patently false" scenario to imagine.
[T]he “domino theory” i.e. that once a measure has been applied to tobacco it will be applied to other products is patently false.
It certainly looks like dominoes tumbling to me, but then I don't wear tobacco control industry approved bullshit blinkers.


Josef K said...

Steady on Dick. What concerns me rather apocalyptically is that dastardly sugar corporations are muscling in on alternative artificial sweeteners. There must be a lobby at work somewhere Strasbourgish. Astrosaccharines busy swiftly turfing. And for those that decant... let's ban plain containers. Any product containing over 4 sugar grains is a medicine. Or a domino. I get confused.

Bill said...

My father began his paid employment years as a 'back lad' in his local Co-op Society. Two of his tasks were cutting the maggot infested 'outer layer' of the hams and bacon to get to the good stuff underneath and taking a large slab of sugar and hitting it with a meat cleaver to break it up to produce smaller amounts that could be weighed and bagged in brown paper bags right in front of the person buying. The horror.

Junican said...

Bill, you must be unaware, along with billions of other English speaking people, that the word 'plain' has never meant what you thought it meant. It has always meant 'highly decorated with gruesome pictures and false slogans'. Such 'plain' objects are often seen in horror comics.

Bill said...

I was attempting to be ironic but clearly I failed. Sorry about that.

Junican said...

You didn't fail at all, Bill! Your point was well-made. I remember when almost everything in corner shops was loose and was shovelled into plain, usually white, paper bags. But that was when I thought that the word 'plain' meant undecorated.

woodsy42 said...

What no advertising ban for sugar? You can tell they are amateurs compared to the tobacco lobby.

P T Barnum said...

So if 'plain' now means 'adorned with gruesome pictures and doom-laden warnings', what word should we use for items that are actually unadorned and blank? Just so I can be sure to get it right according to Newspeak 2013.

Junican said...

Simple. the word you are looking for is 'protected'. White and brown paper bags are 'protected' from adulteration.

Junican said...

In the UK, there is not a lot of sugar advertising as such. There is no need. The advertising is of sugar-containing products. There are thousands of them. A bit difficult to ban them all. Better to get at the easy target - fast food organisations.
You would think that such organisations would have learned from tobacco control - that if you give an inch, 'sugar control' will take a mile. The only course of action is to resist absolutely and completely.

Such organisations would need to go back to tobacco control and show the deficiencies of the evidence. In that way, they could defend themselves and relieve us all of punitive legislation pretending to be protective legislation.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

They're in a hurry and skipping a step.

Dick_Puddlecote said...


JonathanBagley said...

The baking competition, whose final got more than 9 million viewers, making it just about the most popular TV show, is moving from BBC2 to BBC1 next year. Sales of baking ingredients and paraphernalia are rocketing. The war on sugar is already lost.

A typical cake contains 8oz (225g or 45 tea spoons) sugar, 8 oz of flour, 8oz butter, 4 eggs.

P T Barnum said...

Thank you. I feel educated. And somehow cleansed.

Michael J. McFadden said...

Sugar *definitely* needs those gory pics! Remember: "We are in the midst of the Greatest Public Health Crisis in the history of the WORLD!" because of Sugar's Slaughter! See the first minute of: and ask yourself if these people would hesitate for a split second in covering sugary drinks and snacks with obese bodies full of oozing bed sores. Heck, they'll probably jump straight to embedded video packaging complete with sound! Pick up a bottle o' KookyKola and you can hear the groans of patients after surgeries! Or cute little tykes wailing "No one LIKES me, because I'm FAT!", or perhaps a stern juidicial voice intoning, "If you feed this to your children, will they sue you when they get older?"