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Why British Columbia Banned Artificial Sweeteners in Schools

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With thanks to our friend and fellow journalist, John O'Connor in Merritt British Columbia, Canada, who wrote an article about this that appeared at OEN a few weeks ago, and who then made an official inquiry as to how and why this was done.  

Please remember that the parents first demanded this, then the Education Ministry went along with their demands, and now the Health Ministry makes it official policy!

A response to your query on why artificial sweeteners are not approved as part of the school food and beverage guidelines….

The health and safety of children is one of government’s top priorities.
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That’s why government has taken many steps to promote healthy eating initiatives at schools, including the School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program and banning the sale of junk food in BC public schools.

The 2007 Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools allow for foods with artificial sweeteners to be sold under the Choose Sometimes category in Secondary schools only.

The Guidelines say that artificial sweeteners are safe for children and adolescents to consume in small quantities.

It was decided to eliminate artificial sweeteners in foods for sale in B.C. elementary and middle schools due to a broadly expressed desire by educators and parents during the government's 2005 consultation to leave the decision-making about children consuming foods with artificial sweeteners to parents

Health Canada's responsibility is to ensure safety of the food supply under the Food and Drug Act. While, Health Canada deems artificial sweeteners safe on a population-wide basis, it is within the Provinces' jurisdiction to determine availability of products for sale in B.C. schools.   

Anne McKinnon
Communications Director
Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport
Public Affairs Bureau
250-952-2387 (o)
250-812-4012 (c)
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