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Large portion of subsidised bread going to dogs and pigs

Monday 25 July 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in French Polynesia, Regional

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Large portion of subsidised bread going to dogs and pigs
Photo: hongee/123RF

The French Polynesian government says it regrets that about a fifth of the territory's subsidised bread is being fed to animals, such as pigs and dogs.

Baguettes are a basic food staple which is subject to price regulation and kept affordable by subsidies.

Each year the government provides $US13 million in subsidies to keep the price at about 50 cents per breadstick.

That means people can buy bread twice as low as they are in mainland France.

Due to the war in Ukraine animal food products have gone up, however unsold bread makes a cheaper substitute for feeding animals.

The price of flour has increased by 70 percent over one year due to the crisis.

Ukraine and Russia account for 30 percent of the world's flour.

The baguette price will be raised by two cents from next month, with the increase being shared between bakers and retailers.

MP wants action to tackle obesity

A French Polynesian opposition member has urged the government to implement its healthy eating strategy to counter what's being described as a catastrophic health situation.

Eliane Tevihatua has filed a question in the assembly after the government remained silent over the recent announcement that three more fast-food restaurants are scheduled to open next year.

She said the government professes to work towards improving public health yet is silent about Burger King's plan to open three new outlets.

Tevihatua said because of unhealthy eating habits, 40 percent of French Polynesians are now obese.

She has also called for a hike in the sugar tax.

It was introduced in 2019 after a five-fold increase of type-2 diabetes in just 20 years, a condition affecting about 45,000 people.