The food and drink industry has got used to being a political football. And ever since the obesity panic started to take hold in this country two years ago, you have taken a good kicking.
We think this industry has an important role to play in the food and health debate, while acknowledging there are areas where much more could - and should - be done. But we believe the industry is part of the solution, not the problem. We have always thought - perhaps naively - that the government would wake up to this fact. We hoped that once the rhetoric died down, the government would engage with all parts of society - consumers, NGOs, health experts, retailers and manufacturers - to develop a sensible agenda for a comprehensive public health campaign.
Sadly, the government has shown it is not interested in long-term action plans. They take time, money and commitment. This government wants short-term fixes; to be seen to be doing something - anything. But the problem with panics is they cause irrational behaviour in normally sensible people. That’s why we’ve seen clever wheezes from Whitehall - a threat to ban advertising to kids, introduce a fat tax or develop traffic light labelling. Not to forget the sheer nonsense you’ve endured when it comes to salt.
Well, we say: ‘Enough is enough.’ It is time to Junk the Spin and initiate a sensible debate about the role this industry can play in improving the health of our nation. You can help in the fightback. Join our campaign. Turn to page 32 and sign our petition. We need to show them that we mean business.