Food labelling fudge is proof that lobbying works

Health campaigners and consumer groups have been united in their support for a ‘traffic light’ scheme for food labeling.

Independent polls for Which? and the National Heart Forum have found the public prefer traffic lights over the confusing ‘Guideline Daily Amounts’ scheme that the likes of Kelloggs, Nestle and Kraft have been pushing.

But yesterday the Foods Standards Agency failed to throw its weight behind traffic lights and instead opted for a messy compromise

Why did they wimp away from unequivically backing the scheme supported by everyone apart from the junk food lobby big food firms?

The Independent provides a few clues:

‘The food industry hired a lobbying company, Hill & Knowlton, which engaged in a whirl of activity. Hill & Knowlton boasted on its website that meetings with No10, the FSA, the health select committee, and other parliamentarians had “resulted in a significant shift in attitudes among core government stakeholders.”

‘One FSA insider was quoted as saying Kellogg’s had always been briefing ahead of it at party conferences: “They muddied the waters for us. Frontbench spokespeople told us they’d never experienced anything like it.’

But the FSA is not the only one susceptible to a bit of corporate lobbying from the big food firms.

The Tories still support universal use of the Guideline Daily Amounts system!

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