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Food Producers: Content Restrictions

Volume 687: debated on Thursday 21 January 2021

What assessment he has made of the potential effect on UK food producers of proposed restrictions on promotions of products high in fat, sugar and salt. (911167)

Colleagues in the Department for Health and Social Care carried out a consultation on the proposal to restrict the promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar in stores. The Government’s response to the consultation and the impact assessment were published on 28 December 2020. This concluded that the benefits for the nation’s health and the reduction in cost on the NHS outweighed the costs.

The inclusion of breakfast cereals in the proposals for restricting the promotion of these products is causing real concern to cereal growers in my constituency, such as Morris of Hoggeston, and the wider breakfast cereal industry. particularly as there is no allowance for the naturally occurring sugars and fats from the dried fruits and nuts often put with cereals such as granola, porridge and muesli. Will my right hon. Friend advise what assessment has been made of the impact on UK farmers of these proposals and work with colleagues, particularly in the Department of Health and Social Care, to see more common sense applied to breakfast cereals?

My hon. Friend raises an important point. Cereals, such as those are grown in my hon. Friend’s constituency, are an important source of healthy food. Breakfast cereals will be captured by DHSC’s policy only if they are classified as high in salt, fat or sugar, and the nutrient profiling model used by Public Health England accounts for the nutritional benefits of cereals, fruits and nuts. I suggest that he raises his concerns with the Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St Edmunds (Jo Churchill), but I would also be willing to engage in that discussion, given the particular concerns that he raised.