Food industry bodies this week backed calls for a joined-up approach to the health debate as retailers came under fire from the Consumers’ Association.
A CA report was critical of the government and the industry, claiming that they were being irresponsible with labelling and advertising to children. And campaigns director Nick Stace said the government was allowing the industry to dictate policy over public health. “While the government drags its feet, there is no incentive for the industry to take action.”
The British Retail Consortium and the Food and Drink Federation both defended their members from the allegation.
BRC policy director Richard Ali said: “Retailers have already ensured that healthy eating is now more visible, convenient and accessible to a wider range of consumers than ever before. Retailers are committed to offering customers a wide range of well-labelled products that allow them to opt for a healthier approach to food and drink.”
And FDF deputy director general Martin Paterson said: “Any recommendations must be based on sound science and a joined-up approach involving government, health professionals, educators, parents and industry must be taken to tackle the problems of obesity.”
The FDF and BRC welcomed the Wanless Report which called for government action to secure public health by promoting healthy lifestyle choices in areas such as smoking and exercise.