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Butter ban beggars all belief and it's time that producers spread the word

Among the hundreds of Government-appointed quangos in Ireland is an organisation called the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), which regulates radio and TV.

This erudite body has just produced a report from an 'expert' group, which recommends restricting adverts for, among other foods, butter and cheese, during shows where more than 50pc of the audience is under 18.

The BAI says it now wishes to hold a public consultation around this -- you couldn't make it up.

There are many, many serious issues in Ireland today requiring public consultation but discussing what time of the day you can air an advert for butter is most definitely not one of them.

I suspect this level of censorship would not prevail in North Korea.


This is a continuation of an agenda by self-appointed food police to put dairy products in the same category as all junk food when discussing the subject of obesity.

These people deliberately ignore the volumes of scientific evidence highlighting the nutritional benefits of natural dairy products in the diet.

We would appear to have very mixed messages from different Government departments and agencies here. On the one hand, we have the Department of Agriculture and Food, in the Food Harvest 2020 Report, setting a target of a 50pc increase in milk output, while, on the other hand, we have another arm of Government practically trying to demonise dairy products.

Try explaining that to our customers abroad.

You would like to think that common sense will prevail here, with this nonsense being quickly shelved. Unfortunately, this is an era where common sense is far from common -- how else did this daft proposal get this far?

All dairy farmers need to make their views known to their elected representatives.

Vincent Gilhawley is chief executive of Town of Monaghan Co-op. This piece was written for this month's edition of the co-op's newsletter

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