The dairy industry told the Food Standards Agency yesterday (Friday) that its proposed model for nutrient profiling of foods is unsuitable for cheese.
Key bodies in the sector submitted feedback to the FSA’s consultation. The message was unanimous: that the system is too simplistic and excludes too many nutrients to be used appropriately on nutrient-dense foods such as cheese.
British Cheese Board secretary Nigel White said: “We don’t believe this one-size-fits-all approach can be used for a subject as complex as nutrition.”
Jill Eisberg, chief executive of the Dairy Council, added: “The FSA model omits several critical
nutrients such as B-group vitamins, vitamins A, C and D, folic acid, fibre and protein.
“Dairy foods are nutrient-dense and are rich sources of protein, vitamins A and B and a variety of minerals. The draft profiling model takes none of these nutrients into account except for calcium. The focus is very heavily on saturated fat, sugar and salt. Portion size is also very important. A standard serving of cheese is 30g, although the FSA model generalises all portions at 100g.”
Dairy UK technical director Ed Komorowski said: “If cheese is demonised then people may stop eating it and start eating less healthy things instead.”
Provision Trade Federation director general Clare Cheney said: “We have recommended that single-ingredient products should not be included in any model on the grounds that this is unnecessary.
“People know that cheese contains salt and fat, so all they need are Guideline Daily Amounts.”
Richard Clarke