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Taxpayer funding of Fizz group 'unethical'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming today's acknowledgement from anti-sugar group head, Gerhard Sundborn, that "Fizz" is not a science organisation but rather an "advocacy group" pushing an agenda for sugar taxes and other restrictions on consumer choice. The acknowledgement however makes its continued taxpayer untenable, when a breakdown of the attendees of today's Fizz sugar tax convention shows that the vast majority of organisations represented are taxpayer funded.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Until now those involved in the Fizz group have been trying to hide behind a scientific guise, when in reality this is a sophisticated political campaign using taxpayer money to promote sugar taxes."

"Even if you agree that a sugar tax is desirable, it sets a dangerous precedent for a political group to be funded by Government agencies. No taxpayer should be forced to fund political causes they don't believe in."

"Now that we have the acknowledgement that this is a political campaign, the taxpayer funding of Fizz should immediately cease. It is not good enough for the Ministry of Health to allow its DHBs and their offshoots to fund a political campaign group."

"As can be seen from the list of attendees, even Defence Force money is being siphoned into this campaign pushing for a sugar tax. It's unethical and It flies in the face of the duty of public servants to be politically neutral."

"Fizz's honesty is also questionable. Last year the Taxpayers’ Union exposed Fizz for falsely claiming the endorsement of the New Zealand Health Research Council. Last month Fizz cited a Mexican study, apparently showing that the Mexican sugar tax was a success, but when we asked Fizz organiser Boyd Swinburn for a copy, he told us they hadn't even read the study. They ignore the data which shows the sugar tax measures in Mexico have been an utter failure."

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