Home News President Halimah's promotion of Milo comes under severe criticisms

President Halimah’s promotion of Milo comes under severe criticisms

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Milo on Tuesday launched a variant of the drink with no added table sugar and named the beverage ‘Milo Gao Kosong’. Nestle Singapore managing director Rajiv Deraniyagala said that the beverage was produced as a result of a challenge posed by President Halimah Yacob.

“It was about eight, nine months ago when we had this conversation with President Halimah Yacob on what we can do to reduce the sugar in Milo,” Mr Deraniyagala said.

Nestle Singapore introduced another variant of Milo in July last year. The product christened ‘Milo Gao Siew Dai’ has 50 per cent less table sugar and 30 per cent more protein than the original formula. When they launched this product the President challenged the beverage maker to make a Milo product with no added sugar.

“Today, inspired by President Halimah Yacob, after many months of research here in Singapore, we are extremely excited to unveil the first Milo without added (table) sugar,” Mr Deraniyagala added.

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President Halimah inaugurated the beverage by drinking the first official cup of ‘Milo Gao Kosong’ at Plaza Singapura.

The President later said in her Facebook: “I was delighted to launch the world’s first MILO Gao Kosong yesterday. It is heartening that Nestle has taken my suggestion to create a version of MILO with zero table sugar added. I suggested this idea when I met the team during the Healthy Lifestyle Festival SG 2017. Congratulations, Nestle Singapore, and keep up your efforts in helping Singaporeans stay healthy.”

The President’s promotion of the beverage drew criticisms in social media. Facebook users Kelvin Lim and Esther Ong commenting on the launch of the beverage expressed surprise that the President was promoting a beverage.

Several other commenters on Channel NewsAsia’s Facebook post on the topic asked where the President was during the Trump-Kim Summit last week.

Yet others questioned how healthy the drink was:

Other Facebook users have suggested that the ‘Milo Gao Kosong’ is not entirely sugar free.

Facebook user Seh Meng said: “This is ridiculous. “ The Gao Kosong version only contains SUGAR that is naturally present in milk and malt – the two key ingredients in Milo.”
– caps emphasis is MINE. The food and beverage companies are still holding ties to government.

“Please for the sake of the country just let real market forces take over! The countrymen are learning, no need to “ cater” for it or have endorsement by HPB! Hasn’t HPB learnt their lesson?!?!

“This is simply a negative nudge made by people who don’t have skin in the game. It’s appalling to all healthcare workers, disappointing for the people and shameful for HPB to endorse this.”

This is ridiculous.“ The Gao Kosong version only contains SUGAR that is naturally present in milk and malt – the two…

Posted by 官世民 on Tuesday, 19 June 2018

The new drink is endorsed by the HPB under its Healthier Choice Symbol programme.

Ms Audrey Tong, director of HPB’s corporate & industry partnerships division said: “We are pleased to see the launch of Milo Gao Kosong. Milo has been a strong industry supporter in our initiatives to reduce the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages. We are very happy to see the brand take one step further to once again reaffirm its commitment to producing healthier beverage options for Singaporeans.”

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