Sylvi Listhaug, Norway’s new head of health, proclaimed that people should smoke, drink, and eat meat, only a few days after taking office. She felt this was a more free-spirited approach than most of her predecessors.
She told the official Norwegian Broadcasting Corp that she has no plans of being the moral police and will not tell people how to live. She does plan on helping people become informed so they can make their own choices.
While during an interview, it appeared she was eating something that looked like red meat which is considered a health risk that can lead to heart disease and cancer. During the interview, she did hint at the direction of her future policies.
She said that people should be able to smoke, drink, and eat as much red meat as they want. Although authorities might like to inform others, people know pretty much what is healthy and what is not. It’s not a political task to tell people what they can and cannot do.
Her opinion has stirred up a lot of controversy throughout Norway. The Norwegian Cancer Society Secretary General, Anne Lise Ryel, said during an interview on Norway’s ABC News, said that the Progress Party second-in command’s new role should be given to someone who is more committed to and understands the importance of public health.
In response to Sylvi Listhaug’s comments, on smoking, drinking and eating red meat, Ryel said her group was disappointed and a little surprised by her remarks because the role of public health minister is supposed to work with health risks and ensure that people can live healthier lives for greater health.
Previously, Listhaug was the minister of agriculture and food, the minister of immigration and integration, and, most recently, the minister of justice.
She resigned from that role last March due to widespread backlash after posting on Facebook that the center-left Labor Party cared more about the rights of terrorists than national security due to their refusal to back her when she called to withdraw Norwegian citizenship from those who threaten national security.