asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what further consultations he plans and with whom before issuing regulations on the fat labelling of foods.
We shall consult widely on any proposals for legislation on food labelling, as required by section 118 of the Food Act 1984.
Bearing in mind the wide variety of fat blends used by the food industry, does my hon. Friend agree that the balance to be struck with these regulations is that of informing the consumer without imposing unnecessary burdens on the food industry?
Yes, of course, and we are, in relation to labelling, responding to the recommendations of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food.
Has the Minister seen the well-researched article in The Observer of 26 May, which suggests that the Government's proposals are totally inadequate in relation to food labelling and will not distinguish between the nutritional value of a Mars bar, with 67 per cent. sugar, and puffed wheat, with 1·7 per cent.? Surely, in addition to fat labelling, it is important to issue details of sugar content.
I have just said in answer to a question that in the nutritional labelling, which is to be voluntary, we shall look at whether fibre, sugar and salt content should be part of the basic list—that which we require if nutritional labelling is to be done at all.