Whatever you might think about the government's one-eyed approach. However you might feel about the FSA's failure to build a consensus. Whatever your views on the obvious flaws of the model itself. Something had to be done about the obesity crisis. Like it or lump it, the government acted on behalf of the lumps.
Fair enough. The industry has undoubtedly been culpable in its failure to come up with a better alternative to the FSA's notorious Nutrient Profiling Model. And, while it's tempting to whinge from the touchline about the referee, it's much more important that the industry now gets out on the field and does the business. To come up with - and get behind - a viable alternative. But which one to choose?
As we explain in our ongoing coverage in the Weigh It Up! campaign this week, there are a number of interesting alternatives that address some of the objections that have led The Grocer to call for an immediate review of NPM by Ofcom and the FSA.
The one we most like the look of is the Naturally Nutrient Rich Index, developed in the US. I won't bother you here with too much detail about how it works. You can read the piece on pp36-41. But what excites me about this model is its inclusiveness and its intelligence. In a White Paper called Choosing Health, published in November 2004, the government had visions of a "clear, straightforward coding system so that busy people understand at a glance which foods can make a positive contribution to a healthy diet, and which are recommended to be eaten only in moderation or sparingly."
Two-and-a-half years later, the FSA has been busying itself handing out penalties while the industry has argued the toss. Let's hope we now get on with the game and shoot at that goal.