Health Improvement and Food Production - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:12 pm on 7 July 2022.

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Photo of Lord Kamall Lord Kamall The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 5:12, 7 July 2022

The noble Baroness makes an important point, but we have to recognise the reality: not where we want to get to, but where we are at the moment. People do eat food that will need to be reformulated if we want to make it healthier. Of course, we know that fruit and vegetables are healthy, but not everyone, as we help them transition, will eat fruit and vegetables, or make stuff from the raw products. They will buy products in supermarkets, and therefore if they are buying them, we have to make sure that they are healthier and reformulated. We do not yet live in that ideal world where everyone buys fruit and vegetables, and cooks everything for themselves.

Given that, we also need new regulations on out-of-home calorie labelling. As we know, many people go to restaurants, buy takeaways or have their food delivered. It is important that we have calorie labelling for food sold in large businesses, including restaurants, cafés and takeaways, which came into force on 6 April 2022. As noble Lords are aware, there will be further legislation, on restricting the promotion and advertising of products high in fat, salt and sugar, which will come into effect in the next few years. I know that many noble Lords disagreed with the Government’s views on delaying some of those measures. We will continue to have the end-of-aisle promotion on the target date, but others, such as “buy one, get one free”, are delayed because of the trade-off with the cost of living crisis, but will come. It is delayed, but we have set target dates.

Once again, we have to be open—