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Food: Health Hazards

Volume 508: debated on Monday 22 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with representatives of the food industry on the effects of the provision of information on the (i) salt, (ii) sugar and (iii) fat content of foods on the ability of people to manage their (A) diabetes, (B) heart disease, (C) stroke, (D) obesity and (E) other chronic medical conditions; what recent representations he has received on those matters; and if he will make a statement. (323140)

The Department and Food Standards Agency (FSA) officials have regular and ongoing discussions with a wide range of stakeholders within the food industry about the provision of nutritional information for fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt both on front and back of pack.

Front of pack (FOP) labelling responds to United Kingdom consumer's desire for clear, simple, honest nutrition information and it is widely accepted that FOP labelling is a useful initiative which is valued by consumers in terms of making it easier to make healthier choices when shopping. Research and feedback from consumers has indicated that FOP labelling is often used by those with health and medical conditions such as those listed, to inform purchasing decisions.

The FSA has developed a framework to strengthen UK FOP arrangements and develop a mechanism by which a single effective approach to FOP labelling which assists consumers to make healthier choices can be delivered.