THE plan to ban television ads for cheese before the 9pm watershed is the "nanny state gone mad", it was claimed last night.
The move to stop Irish children eating fatty foods triggered an emergency Dail debate in which Fine Gael's Charlie Flanagan described the proposals by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland as "ridiculous".
"I call on the BAI to stop this madness. This is the nanny state gone mad. The increase in childhood obesity levels is alarming and something must be done to stop this. However, the BAI's proposal to include banning cheese adverts before 9pm is a step too far.
"It is well documented that dairy products and the calcium they contain play a crucial part in the diet of children and teenagers."
The BAI ban, due to be drawn up by the end of the month, will hit advertising of foods high in salt, fat or sugar in a bid to curb the growing obesity problem among the nation's children.
The dairy industry has criticised the inclusion of cheese on the list.