Food Labelling

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th June 1985.

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Photo of Mr David Sumberg Mr David Sumberg , Bury South 12:00 am, 20th June 1985

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.

Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Medway

We shall consult widely on any proposals for legislation on food labelling, as required by section 118 of the Food Act 1984.

Photo of Mr David Sumberg Mr David Sumberg , Bury South

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?

Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Medway

Yes, of course, and we are, in relation to labelling, responding to the recommendations of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food.

Photo of Mr Michael Meadowcroft Mr Michael Meadowcroft , Leeds West

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.

Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Medway

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.