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Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Food Standards Agency, (b) Ofcom, (c) Grocer magazine and (d) others on the nutrient profiling model; and if she will make a statement. (126233)

The development of the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) nutrient profiling model was subject to extensive public consultation prior to being agreed by the Agency’s Board in 2005, and both the Department and the FSA have received a number of representations on the model since.

I have had regular discussions with the FSA on the model while it was being developed for use by Ofcom, to enable them to target new rules on television advertising of foods high in fat, salt or sugar, without having an unhelpful impact on the advertising of healthier options.

I have had several discussions with the Chair of Ofcom, and wrote in support of the model as an appropriate basis for underpinning regulatory intervention in relation to broadcast food advertising to children on 6 December 2005.

I have also undertaken two interviews with The Grocer magazine in May and September 2006, at which time the nutrient profiling model was raised among other topics.