I am listening to Morning Report about the discussion on government moves to improve food quality, which is also on Stuff today.
Where we face major social problems we often use regulation to change the behaviour of firms. There are numerous examples, many of which have been in the spotlight recently with safety of various products.
Dealing with obesity and diabetes is arguably the same thing. Government moves to ensure that food is better labelled and to educate consumers are both good. The former is quite reasonably implemented either by industry agreement, or by mandated labelling standards through regulation.
The health of New Zealanders is more important than National's ideological hatred of regulation. If companies won't cooperate voluntarily with making our food safer, then they must be forced to do so. The community's interest in that happening entirely and massively outweights companies' interests in not being regulated.