Professor Fitzroy Henry, head of the Ministry of Health's National Food Industry Taskforce
The head of the Ministry of Health's National Food Industry Taskforce has encouraged manufacturers who say they have cut the sugar levels in their products to provide proof.
Professor Fitzroy Henry said the aim is to have tangible evidence for data gathering.
He lauded the efforts of those companies including National Baking Company, Consolidated Bakeries, Lasco and Wisynco which have cut the sugar content in some of their products in response to Jamaicans making healthier choices.
However, Professor Henry says more is needed.
"You say you're taking 25 per cent out of it, let us see the evidence for it... How close are you to what the Ministry of Health or the World Health Organisation has as a standard?" he reasoned.
Professor Henry, who was speaking on TVJ's Smile Jamaica on Monday morning, appealed to manufacturers who have not started to cut their sugar content to do so and not await the imposition of a tax.
He argued that the data on deaths related to non-communicable disease show the numbers are greater than murders.
"We have about four out of five persons that die from these chronic diseases. Crime is about seven per cent, you know, if you think of deaths; whereas these chronic diseases, 67 per cent; we don't hear about it," he asserted.
Finance Minister Audley Shaw last week issued a warning to manufacturers to lower their sugar content.