The Dail yesterday became the center for a heated discussion on none other than cheese. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland is looking to place a ban on televised cheese ads prior to 9pm in hopes of curbing the growing obesity problem in the Republic.
The Irish Examiner reports that a debate on the matter was led by TD Charlie Flanagan of Fine Gael in the Dail. Flanagan referred to the attempted move from the BAI as both "ludicrous" and “mad.”
"I call on the BAI to stop this madness,” said Flanagan. “This is the nanny state gone mad. The increase in childhood obesity levels is alarming and something must be done to stop this.”
Flanagan went on to say that the BAI was going too far in their proposed ban on cheese advertisements.
"Research shows that while obesity in children has broadly doubled over a 15-year period, cheese consumption has remained static.
Flanagan added that the proposed ban could be detrimental to Ireland’s booming dairy industry, and could possibly send the wrong message to the thousands of people the industry employs.
"Exports in this industry are worth €2.6bn to the Irish economy every year. The target is to double this in the next eight years."
TD Fergus O’Dowd said, however, that the BAI was an independent body.