The Dutch government is angry at plans by Brussels to expand milk and fruit distribution at Europe’s primary schools, saying the Netherlands would rather organise its own health eating efforts, the Telegraaf said on Tuesday.
European farm ministers voted in favour of the plan on Monday by a large majority, the paper says. However, Dutch junior economic affairs minister Martijn van Dam said the vote is ‘disappointing’.
‘It is good to teach children about healthy eating but that is not something Brussels should be doing. We can do it ourselves,’ he said.
In addition, Van Dam said the European ruling covers products with added sugar and fat. ‘Chocolate milk and yoghurt drinks are being subsidised with European money,’ he said. ‘It is irresponsible to use taxpayers money to subsidise drinks which contain as much sugar as cola.’
‘We will use the money for real fresh fruit, vegetables and ordinary milk,’ Van Dam said. Refusing the money is not an option, he said. ‘We would be made if we did not make use of it for our farmers and fruit growers.’
The EU regulations allow subsidies for daily products containing up to 7% added sugar or honey.
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