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Unhappy little Vegemites

The Australian federal government must rule out a new tax on Vegemite, not just guarantee its continued presence on supermarket shelves, opposition health spokesman, Peter Dutton, said.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council, and now the federal opposition, have attacked the Rudd government’s preventive health taskforce, challenging its credibility over fat taxes and claiming Vegemite could be forced off the shelves because it is too salty.

Speaking in Brisbane last wekk, Dutton said a fat tax on Vegemite would be ludicrous.

“We are calling on the Labor government to rule out this absurdity, to make sure that Australian families won’t have to pay a tax on Vegemite,” he said.

“They don’t need to be served up a menu from the Rudd government about what they need to eat and drink three meals a day.

“This is a government which has gone completely out of control in terms of nanny-state government and they need to make sure they rule out this tax on Vegemite.”

Dutton said good information about food was a better answer to the nation’s obesity problem than taxing Vegemite, jams or cheeses.

“Australians don’t want extra pressure on their budgets because of a new Labor tax on Vegemite.”

Earlier last week, Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the iconic spread was here to stay.

“I am a very happy Vegemite eater and there is no way in the world that Vegemite would be banned in this country,” Gillard said.

“Vegemite is part of being Australian, part of our history, part of our future and I’ll be continuing to wake up in the morning and having it on my toast.”

— AAP

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