Health Secretary John Reid has indicated he is ready for a battle with the industry over simplified nutritional labelling.
Writing in the Evening Standard, Reid said he was determined to achieve a system that enabled consumers to see at a glance how individual foods contributed to a healthy diet.
He stressed he would not cave in to industry lobbyists.
“We would really like to do this with the agreement of the industry. However, if it is true the industry is optimistic the plan will be abandoned, I want to tell readers that the industry will be disappointed,” he wrote. “I will deliver the White Paper and -
however hard the lobbying against it - we will still be on the side of consumers and parents.”
Food and drink companies are banking on science to prove
that the Food Standard Agency’s nutrient profiling model is unworkable. As manufacturers and industry associations submitted their responses to the FSA’s consultation on nutrient profiling yesterday (Friday) industry insiders believed they had a good case. “I have seen some of the submissions and they play hard on the science angle,” said one manufacturer.
A DoH spokeswoman said Reid was merely reiterating the commitments laid out in the Public Health White Paper.
Meanwhile, at an Association for the Study of Obesity conference, FSA head of nutrition Rosemary Hignett urged industry to connect with stakeholders on this issue. “If we are going to make any progress we need to work positively in partnership with industry.”
>>p56 Nutrient profiling rejected
Siân Harrington