Economy

Gillard promises to save Vegemite from fatty-foods ban

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Acting Prime Minster Julia Gillard has hit out at suggestions that the iconic – but very salty – Australian spread Vegemite could be forced off supermarket shelves if a Government taskforce recommends taxes or bans on fatty and salty foods.

Vegemite

Acting Prime Minster Julia Gillard has hit out at suggestions that the iconic – but very salty – Australian spread Vegemite could be forced off supermarket shelves if a Government taskforce recommends taxes or bans on fatty and salty foods.

Gillard told The Age that Vegemite would not lose its place on grocery shelves on her watch.

“I am a very happy Vegemite eater and there is no way in the world that Vegemite would be banned in this country.

“Vegemite is part of being Australian, part of our history, part of our future – and I’ll be continuing to wake up in the morning and having it on my toast.”

The Australian Food and Grocery Council and the Australian Retailers Association were also up in arms, vowing to fight for the yeasty product.

“The AFGC is disappointed that (the) National Preventative Health Taskforce has chosen to risk the credibility of its report to Government through failing to base its considerations first and foremost on scientific evidence, rather than conjecture and supposition,” the group says.

Scott Driscoll, executive director of The Retailers Association, has labelled the potential ban or taxes as “un-Australian” rubbish.

“For a Federal Government taskforce to be even talk about imposing a tax on Vegemite for consumers due to salt content is political correctness gone utterly mad,” says Driscoll.

“Retailers nationally can all testify that demand for the popular breakfast spread on toast remains high, and for the Australian Government to be paying members of a taskforce to come out with such garbage is a serious waste of taxpayer dollars in itself.

“The bureaucrats peddling this nonsense should go away and spread some Vegemite on a piece of toast, sit down and watch The Castle on DVD and realise they’re dreaming!”

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