Heinz Accused Of Selling “Natural” Food For Children With Sugar Levels Qualifying As Confectionary Item

There is an interesting case out of Australia that will confirm the concerns of many parents over food for young children.  The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) brought a legal action against Heinz in June after reviewing a complaint by the Obesity Policy Coalition about the sugar content of the food.  The Commission determined that the level of added sugar would qualify the food — which is sold as a “natural” and healthy choice — as a confectionary item like junk food.  The focus is a product line called  “Little Kids Shredz.”

Shredz products features images of fruit and vegetables and states it is “99 per cent fruit and veg”.  However the Commission found that products like the “berries, apple and veg” variety contain 68.7 grams of sugar per 100 grams.  The sugar content is ramped up by using apple juice concentrate.

Nutritionist and dietician Rosemary Stanton testified that the bars are closer to a confectionery item, though she admitted under cross examination that the bars do contain some dietary fibre and nutrients.

In a statement, Heinz appears to fall back on the product size — a common way to minimize the unhealthy or fat content of products:

The Shredz products were snack foods available in small individually packaged serves appropriate for children aged one to three.”

I tend to favor full disclosure and consumer choice in such cases. However, the government has a legitimate interest in combatting what it views as false advertising or misleading packaging.  I am always leery of packaging defenses in the use of artificially small amounts for consumers.

A ruling against Heinz could trigger a reexamination in other countries over the sugar content of such food products as much of the world grapples with rising obesity levels among children.


52 thoughts on “Heinz Accused Of Selling “Natural” Food For Children With Sugar Levels Qualifying As Confectionary Item”

  1. This is idiotic. FRUIT HAS A LOT OF SUGAR IN IT!!! Using these “standards” you could argue an orange is a “confectionary item.”

    1. No. Fruit has fiber, which blunts the effects of the fructose. Dr. Robert Lustig, pediatric endocrinologist, discusses this in his presentation Sugar: The Bitter Truth and in his book Fat Chance.

  2. Why worry about Heinz when idiotic parents are giving their little brats stuff like apple juice to drink???

    Take a look at the breakdown for a 12 ounce (350 ml) portion of Coca Cola and apple juice:

    Coca Cola: 140 calories and 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons).
    Apple juice: 165 calories and 39 grams of sugar (9.8 teaspoons).

    This is the ugly truth about fruit juice… most types contain a similar amount of sugar as a sugar-sweetened beverage, sometimes with even more total calories!

    Bottom Line: Fruit juice contains some nutrients, but less compared to many plant foods. It contains no fiber and is just as high in sugar and calories as most sugar-sweetened beverages.


    They should make their little Oswalds and Gertrudes eat an actual apple or orange every few days.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. Throughout all of human history people worried about starvation, famines, undernourishment, etc.
    Now parents are worried about their kids becoming too fat.

    What a wonderful high class problem. The free enterprise system enables us to live at a time when farmers are so efficient they produce an abundance of food and we are so prosperous we spend less of our disposable income on food than ever.


    Tell people living 100 years ago their progeny today would be clamoring for government to protect them from an obesity epidemic and they’d think you belonged in an insane asylum. Being obese then was a status symbol. It meant you were well off and didn’t spend a lot of time doing manual hard labor. Today the rich have their own gyms, or gym memberships, fitness coaches and aerobics instructors to advise them how to stay fit and beautiful. The poor are the obese ones.

    I still believe in free will. When people, poor or rich, walk down the grocery aisle they walk past 99% of the stuff on the shelves and decide for themselves what they put in their basket to buy. They know how to spend their money better than anybody else. If they want to buy food processed into junk, it is their choice.

  4. I am with Heinz on this one. Parents should read the package, god knows countries force companies to print enough crap on them that all the information is there.

  5. If you get rid of the three Ps, preservatives, processing, pesticides, you will eat healthier. Eat fresh, raw (cook yourself), organic. It makes food shopping much easier. I rarely have to read labels any more (it’s really, really depressing) because fresh, raw, organic has only the “organic” label (a PLU that starts with 9 is organic) to read.

    I’m the local curmudgeon because my light isn’t on at Halloween when the cute kiddies go begging for their sugar fix. Switch to real maple syrup, molasses, rice syrup, blue agave.

    I’ve started walking all the aisles in the grocery store for exercise – an entire aisle devoted to poisoned (sugar, glyphosate) cereals, another devoted to sugared and caffeinated drinks, another filled with over-processed and over-salted canned goods. Most diners are no longer salting but recently had a meal at Denny’s and couldn’t eat much of it because it was heavily salted.

    1. We brought up our son to believe that all fast food is poison, sugar is poison, vegetables and fruit are the base, and to research what he eats. The info must be put there on the label. To err on the side of exaggeration the ‘poison’ is better than convenience eating. He is a lifeguard, going into the medical profession, won’t let us slide on food, and we are the better for it. There is choice but we are a society where scum will sell us anything, regardless of whether or not it kills us. They seem to always rant about free choice when they sponsor sports and the arts with their ads for tobacco, sugar, and other poisons. If it is truly about free choice there should be no advertising, only true facts presented through our health departments.

      Read a Life Magazine from the 50’s and check out the Camel Cigarette adds: doctors, athletes, and all the other so called role models stating that cigarettes are good for their health. So, free choice cuts both ways. Freedom of speech cuts both ways. One can smugly state that it is each one’s responsibility to inform oneself as to what is good or bad, however, when you get lung cancer or other cancers from breathing the air, drinking the water, etc. one’s self informing only goes so far.

      Take your pick, a society where doctors can advertise cigarettes or a society where we are reminded as to what will kill us early.

      1. Yes. The glorification of “freedom” has become glorification of the freedom to commit scams, corruption, misrepresentation, lies, exploitation, and genocide.

      2. A friend’s grandmother went to her doctor complaining of constipation. The doctor’s advice? He suggested she try smoking a cigarette with her morning coffee to help move things along. That was when smoking was considered fashionable and even doctors smoked in their offices. We’ve come a long way, baby.

      3. The “scum” can’t coerce you to buy anything. Not legally. You have to voluntarily choose to buy. If there is not a market for what the “scum” is selling, the “scum” goes out of business.

        Government, on the other hand, has a monopoly on coercion. Government “legally” takes your money from you against your will. If you don’t pay the tribute the government demands you pay, it will put liens on your property and/or send men with guns to haul you off and put you in a cage.

        1. Both the “scum” and the government (also scum) have a vested interest in money/tribute. They’d both like to fool you if possible. Neither gives a rat’s rear about you. You can’t trust them, so educating yourself to navigate between the minefields is essential.

    2. Michael Pollan’s book, Food Rules simplifies it. He says to ‘Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.’

  6. Sugar is natural. Not like artificial sweeteners which give some people the runs.

    1. Suger is natural but refined sugar is poison and the amounts of sugar that come from starch are adequate for the human body. All this sugar that is added to food from soft drinks to almost everything else, is poison.

        1. Paul–sorry to disagree. Refined sugar is a poison, Absolutely no nutritional value. Only indicated use I can think of is to pull a diabetic out of hypoglycemic shock.

      1. Just about all extra pounds are attributable to sugar. Eat one donut and the ingredients in that donut gather up four times their own weight in water to form four donuts worth of blubber. Try it and you will see it proven on your own body.

    2. Artificial sweeteners do more than give some people the runs. I stopped drinking Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi when I read about some airlines banning pilots from drinking diet soda before and while flying. Whether true or not it was enough for me to do some of my own research and quit the diet soda habit. For years people kept telling me I was pickling my brain by drinking so much diet soda containing Aspartame and I didn’t care. I now consider Aspartame (and all its brand names) to be a neurotoxin and chemical poison. Today, I would choose sugar over artificial sweetners.

    3. Cocaine is technically natural, too. Chewing the leaves is a mild stimulant, but refining it….

      Chewing raw sugar cane does not harm the body to the same degree that table sugar does.

      1. Prairie Rose – I think the natives that chew the coca plant are addicted to it as well. Opium is naturally producing and the English went to war with the Chinese a couple of times to make sure the Chinese stayed addicted to it and needed a steady supply, since the British were trading opium for tea.

  7. Gary Taubes wrote a very good book titled The Case Against Sugar. Obesity and diabetes are its results.

    1. Excellent book. His Good Calories, Bad Calories is also excellent.

  8. “…Trigger reexamination”…. Where? The U.S. has Koch’s ALEC. Gordon Lafer’s book documents, “How corporations are remaking America one state at a time.”

    Turley’s opinion about the right of contractor schools (charter schools) to seize property through eminent domain in Utah, should be interesting. Reporter Ryan Morgan wrote about the issue, July 17, 2017, in Desert News. Once the tax-supported school contractor takes the property they can then resell it as private property to whomever they want.
    For conservatives, it’s a dilemma. They want to privatize all common goods. And, then, those who want to profit from privatization, want to expand to take all property.

    Consider the ramifications of the views of Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, who is partnered in a charter school chain and who is in a YouTube video calling for the elimination of democratically elected school boards.

    1. Linda –

      All true, and you could be forgiven for wondering why we don’t hear much about important concerns like how private wealth is rapidly being allowed to take over public institutions such as schools, prisons, water supply, roads, bridges etc. Maybe JT just doesn’t know about that particular problem. But who cares? Aren’t you glad to hear about Ketchup concerns in Australia? I know I am.

      1. IMO, JT has a narrative that vilifies certain demographic groups, liberals among them (odd b/c who knows what the term currently represents, after it was replaced with contradictory neoliberalism, beginning in 1992. And, who knows what conservatism means after Reagan’s spending and the religious right’s encampment with the God-less Trump.)
        JT seems to be against more than for. And, IMO, his underlying distinctions seem to be pinned to prejudice rather than consistent treatment. But, in fairness I only drop in here on occasion.

    2. Great comment. It wouldn’t surpass me that corporations will look at student’s, who attend a corporate charter school, credentials as part of hiring decisions. Kids are already getting letters of interest from major college athletic programs at the age of 9. Why wouldn’t parents want to have an advantage for their kids by pledging to the corporate education flag if it promises a path to retirement starting at age 6.I would bet those same charter school funders make parallel donations to colleges and universities that decide early on who gets a post secondary education scholarship. I’m pretty sure that’s where we’re headed.

      1. The higher ed. plan of New America (Gates-financed) calls for state taxes to fund legacy admission schools. The public sacrificed to build state universities that admitted students of the poor and middle class based on merit, at an affordable price, as a gift to the nation’s future prosperity. Gates and Walton heirs have spent $1 bil. each to tear down the current K-12 system And, as one of the ed. organizations Gates funds described it, to create schools that are “human capital pipelines”. The schools that Gates sends his kids to, reject his schemes. Our kids, our communities, our taxes and, Gates controls them whichever political party reigns supreme. The politicians all agree that Gates “means well”. Gates, Z-berg and Pearson are investors in the largest seller of for-profit, schools-in-a-box. IMO, privatization is a stop gap measure to get public support. Then, public support for the unaccountable private schools will wane and school taxes will be eliminated. Gates lives in the state with the most regressive tax system in the nation.

        Wall Street drags down GDP by an estimated 2%. They are short-sighted. Who are the rich going to feed off of, after public education (labor’s schools) are turned over to private grifters? Ohio is trying to get $60,000,000 back from the largest contractor school (charter) in the state, which allegedly has a 70% truancy rate. The contractor schools are called charter schools to mislead the public.

        Media reported a “parallel donation” bought Jared Kushner’s admission into harvard.

  9. MA

    You are sliding, pathetic, and boring. Did you attend Trump’s boy scout jamboree. Now that’s a real piece of work, using the Hitler Youth as a model. Pull you nose out from where the sun don’t shine and take a gander at the world’s leading greed bucket, our President.

    1. Sheeeesh, if it’s Hitler Youth that lights your bulb, take a gander at the SJWs and their street violence, and the cute little neo-Fascist way they shut down their political opponent’s free speech rights.

      You are just name calling, while studiously avoiding any real discussion of the substance of what makes a Hitler youth-type individual.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

    2. IBK—Comparing a boy scout jamboree to Hitler’s Youth? I have never heard such idiocy! I would suggest you yourself “pull your nose out from where the sun don’t shine”!

  10. If it isn’t deals for Iran it’s deals against children. Kerry strikes again.

    For those that don’t know it Former Sec Kerry and Swift Boat duck out from Vietnam is MR. Heinz courtesy of wife Theresa. The greed of these leftists can always be counted on.

      1. How many decades has Teresa (Tah-rezza) Heinz Kerry been married to John Kerry and yet she still goes by her wealthy late husband’s name? I think she dropped it briefly during Kerry’s campaign. But still, who does that?

        1. Don’t forget–the Ketchup Queen is married to a guy who sports the middle name,Forbes, lest anyone try to forget that he springs from some type of royal family, as opposed to the real peasants, from which he emanates, who changed their name from Kohn to Kerry so that no one would know that they were Jewish.

          1. He had maternal-side relations with money. His own parents were not wealthy. His father was a Foreign Service Officer, a trade which has some peculiar fringe benefits. He also had at least one aunt who would pay his school tuition.

            Frederick Kerry (ne Fritz Kohn) was a businessman who made and lost fortunes more than once. His 1921 suicide was in response to business reversals. There aren’t many Jews among central Europe’s farm population. (There are some; Robert Maxwell (ne Jan Hoc) had a peasant upbringing).

        2. She’s been married to John Kerry since 1995. She was married to John Heinz for 25 years. All of her children are named ‘Heinz’.

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