Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Families Priced out of Buying Fresh Produce

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Families Priced out of Buying Fresh Produce

Article excerpt

THE Nanna frozen berries health crisis is a consequence of families resorting to convenient and cheaper products, but nevertheless, good food, from unknown countries of origin.

With no clue as to how to differentiate between sources, with confusing or insufficient labelling, it now behoves governments to force companies to clarify this.

This is a timely reminder that it is a health and safety issue, which cannot take the working conditions of overseas food operators for granted.

No one wants to put the health of their family in jeopardy. The high cost of fresh or organic fruit is prohibitive.

Often for convenience, and accessibility, tinned and frozen products are the only cost-effective option.

Our busy lives and limited disposable incomes make the decisions for the cheaper alternatives easy.

Wealthier demographics have greater options.

However, moves are afoot in Canberra to increase the GST to 15%, including fresh fruit and vegetables, presently exempt. Who is that serving? It is not the solution!

What we will find, is that people will resort to living as cheaply as their incomes allow and choose cheaper overseas products to the home grown fresh variety, to avoid the tax. It is already obvious that families avoid fresh, preferring the tinned and frozen.

Why risk the Nanna crisis again upon families and individuals, who want to feed their families well, but find the cost of living well is taxing them out of their health? Our state of health impacts upon the national health system and Medicare, both unsustainable at the present rate.

To increase the Medicare tax rate, not the GST, for high income workers to 1.5% and legislate that all labelling display country of origin, is a step in the right direction. Our national health is at stake. It's food for thought


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