March 11th, 2021

Gélinas tables nutrition bill Temptation Be Gone Act

QUEEN’S PARK— MPP France Gélinas, the Official Opposition critic for Health is celebrating Nutrition Month by introducing a bill to discourage the promotion of high fat, sugar and sodium food.

“Since the pandemic started, lines at the cash register have gotten longer as have the waits,” states Gélinas. “Marketers know that strategically placing high fat, sugar and sodium foods in those line ups pay off. It’s time to stop tempting Ontario’s consumers to eat more junk food. This initiative started in the UK, and I’m hoping to bring it to Ontario and help people make healthy choices.”

The bill is called the Temptation Be Gone Act and allows the government to make regulations that restrict the sales and marketing of high fat, high sugar treats — including restrictions on what can be located right next to the cash register.

“I want to thank Pharmacist Rachelle Rocha from Season’s Pharmacy and Culinaria in Sudbury for bringing this issue to my attention,” said Gélinas. “Her focus on healthy fresh foods as medicine is simple and smart.”

Rocha said the bill offers a path to a healthier community.

“The evidence is mounting; there are serious health implications from the chronic consumption of ultra-processed foods, which are high in sugar, fat and salt and low in fibre. Individuals suffer, and the payors of the health care system face higher and higher costs. As a Sudburian born in 1970, I observed the transformation and healing of our ecosystem from a blackened, treeless moonscape to the vibrant, green community we see today. This happened because of responsible regulations, corporations contributing to the solutions and the community rallying behind the regreening efforts. This “Temptation be Gone” legislation, which regulates the sale of these edible, food-like substances, gives me great hope, that we too, as individuals, and as a community, can achieve better health outcomes,” said Rocha.

Stephen Piazza, Senior Manager of Advocacy for the Canadian Cancer Society is supportive of the bill.

“About four in 10 cancers can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the health of Ontarians. Restricting foods and beverages high in saturated fat, sugars and sodium at point of sale and incentivizing healthier options are important steps towards building healthier food environments that ultimately support cancer prevention. The Canadian Cancer Society supports the ‘Temptation Be Gone’ bill and commends MPP France Gélinas’ leadership in promoting healthy food choices for Ontarians,” said Piazza.

Liz Scanlon, Director at Heart & Stroke Ontario also recognizes the value in the initiative.

“Good nutrition is one of the most important contributors to good health. Heart & Stroke believes that public policy can be instrumental in encouraging healthy eating. That’s why we support efforts to restrict the promotion of highly processed foods with high fat, sodium and sugar content. This is one important factor in making sure that, especially for children and youth in Ontario, healthy eating becomes a life-long behavior,” said Scanlon.