Food Labelling Laws

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons on 21st February 2019.

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Photo of Kirstene Hair Kirstene Hair Conservative, Angus

What plans he has to introduce more stringent food labelling laws.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip

The UK has world-leading standards of food information, backed by a rigorous legislative framework, but the Secretary of State has been clear that an overhaul of allergen labelling is needed and DEFRA is working with other Departments to deliver that. We are also committed to reviewing food labelling laws after EU exit, so that consumers’ confidence in the food they buy continues to grow.

Photo of Kirstene Hair Kirstene Hair Conservative, Angus

My 15-year-old constituent Ethan McColgan has a severe nut allergy. He is one of 2 million people in the UK who have food allergies. Can the Minister reassure Ethan that this matter is an absolute priority for the Government, enabling him to identify and avoid foods that include nuts, and that manufacturers will be forced to comply?

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip

The provision of allergen information to the public is very important. It is essential that all UK consumers have complete trust in the food they eat. I understand the concerns of my hon. Friend’s constituent and his family. On 25 January, the Government launched a consultation on how to strengthen the framework on allergens. I encourage her constituent and others in a similar situation to feed their views into that consultation as a matter of urgency.