Pacific News Briefs

compiled by Samoa News staff

M.P. EXPLAINS ANTI PACIFIC GAMES BID STANCE

“The previous [2007] Pacific Games we hosted was a huge loss of government money, taxpayers money for that matter, and it was in fact in millions of dollars...... what’s going to change now?” 

This was the question posed by Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai regarding the Government’s bid to host the 2019 Pacific Games. 

Last week Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi confirmed Samoa has made a bid to host the Pacific Games, to the Pacific Games Council. He said that Samoa is “eager” is grab the opportunity and Samoa has the facility fit to host such an event. 

“I have already spoken to the president of the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, to reach out to the Pacific Games Council.” 

According to Tuilaepa the most important facilities that need to be up to par are the Swimming Pool facility and the Apia Park Stadium. He said that Samoa has those facilities and “we are the next best country to host the Pacific Games.” 

Olo agreed that Samoa has the “top notch” facilities but that’s not the point, he said.

 There are many questions that should be considered by the government. 

“Can we afford the necessary expense if there are any other required changes to get our facilities up to international standard? 

“Are we ready to host the Pacific Games?” 

According to Olo, Samoa has been down this road before and it wasn’t pretty.

“We did it before..... and it was a huge loss on the government.” 

Olo also spoke about ‘the ego and pride’ the government has, but at whose expense?

“Don’t let the ego and pride take over, making it seem like Samoa is able to host any international event.... it takes me back to when we hosted the Pacific Games in 2007. 

“Up till this day we have no records of how much was expended by government. And if there were records, they were incomplete.” 

The MP did not go into details but was against the move to host the Pacific Games noting that it’s a waste of money. 

It was put to the MP that his views appear as if he’s always against efforts by government to attract tourists to Samoa. 

However he denied that.

“No, it’s not that..... there’s proof we have been down this road before. 

“It’s evident, the lack of records analyzing the funds allocated here and there of the Games 10 years ago and the funds spent is my main concern as there are no records,” he said. 

According to Olo, “for the last Pacific Games, there is hard proof there was a lack of control in expenses and expenditures that caused problems for the government in the past.” 

(Source: Samoa Observer)

NZ USING 'OUT OF DATE SCIENCE' ON SUGAR IN SPORTS DRINKS

Rules on sugar in hydration drinks are outdated and it is "astonishing" New Zealand has failed to follow latest practice, the founder of a sports drinks company says.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has told SOS Hydration its product must have five times more sugar added if it is to meet the definition of an electrolyte drink.

The company says its drink has been proven to rehydrate three times faster than water.

Indy car racer Scott Dixon, America's Cup skipper Peter Burling and Olympians Hamish Carter and Nick Willis are among those who have endorsed the drink.

SOS Hydration co-founder Thomas Mayo told Morning Report the regulations were outdated, and research showed high levels of sugar were no longer needed for hydration.

"What we're seeing on a global research scale is that level [of sugar] is constantly decreasing."

Sugar and salt molecules helped the absorption of water, but the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code had energy confused with hydration. "They've added in carbohydrates into this equation and it's not required."

"Why in a hospital are you given — to treat dehydration — a product that doesn't contain that but on the sports field you are?"

He said the company met criteria set out by the World Health Organization Oral Rehydration Solution Guidelines.

"It is astonishing that in 2017 MPI is not following best practice and taking into account the guidelines set by the World Health Organization and the lead set by the US and the EU," Mr Mayo said.

In a statement, a ministry spokesperson said MPI was implementing the code set by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).

To qualify as an electrolyte drink under the code it had to contain 50-100 g/l of sugars.

"This carbohydrate requirement purely comes down to physiology - an electrolyte drink needs to have the right amount and types of sugar present to hasten rehydration.

"This is necessary to meet the hydration claim that can only be made on compliant electrolyte drinks - that it prevents or treats mild dehydration due to sustained strenuous exercise."

(Source: RNZI)

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