Update From Senator Catherine Noone

This Week In The Seanad – This week in the Seanad we had debates on the Health (GP Service) Bill 2015, as well as the National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Bill 2015 and Statements on Tackling Obesity in Ireland. You can read more about the statements on tackling obesity below, and you can see the full schedule here – http://catherinenoone.ie/2015/06/18/this-week-in-the-seanad-47/

Cent-sible Decision On Pennies – Following my submission last week to Minister Noonan on the matter of one and two cent coins, I was delighted to see swift action on this matter and clarification about the national plan subsequent to the highly successful trial in Wexford in 2013. It is currently envisaged that one and two cent coins will be voluntarily phased out by consumers and retailers, and that the system of “Swedish rounding” will be used, whereby bills can be rounded up or down to their nearest five cent increment – http://catherinenoone.ie/2015/06/15/suspended-cent-ence-one-and-two-cents-to-be-shelved-in-national-trial/

Statements On Tackling Obesity In Ireland – I was glad to see the Seanad taking time to discuss statements on tackling obesity in Ireland this week. This is an urgent issue – a recent report compiled by the World Health Organisation predicted Ireland was on course to be the fattest nation in Europe by 2030. As the situation stands, 61% of Irish adults and 1 in 4 primary school children are overweight or obese – http://catherinenoone.ie/2015/06/18/obesity-speech/

Trans Fats Could Be Outlawed – This week I called for Ireland to follow the lead of the U.S. and consider curtailing the use of trans fats in foods. It would make sense, given Ireland is increasingly exporting value-added food products, to ensure that we are in line with the U.S. here from an export point of view. Similarly, in terms of healthy eating, it would also make sense to follow Denmark, Austria, Hungary and others in curtailing the use of trans fats, as they have a proven link with increased obesity rates – http://catherinenoone.ie/2015/06/18/time-for-ireland-to-consider-following-u-s-on-trans-fats-noone/

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