Opinion: Food strategy misses chance to bolster UK’s health – Farmers

Boris Johnson has ducked the weight problems disaster but once more, hoofing the taxes on salt and sugar proposed by Henry Dimbleby for the meals strategy into the lengthy grass.

“Best approach to drop some pounds, consider me, is to eat much less,” mentioned the prime minister.

It shouldn’t come as a shock. Two years in the past, Mr Johnson was touted as “weightwatcher in chief” shortly after his hospitalisation from Covid-19.

But he has yo-yoed on practically each coverage that has crossed his desk since.

See additionally: Food strategy receives combined response from business

About the writer

Ian Pigott

Farmers Weekly Opinion author

Ian Pigott farms 700ha in Hertfordshire. The farm is a Linking Environment and Farming demonstration unit. Ian can be the founding father of Open Farm Sunday.

His messaging on weight problems has been particularly opposite since he was a shadow training spokesperson some 16 years in the past.

Then, Mr Johnson praised dad and mom who have been supplying quick meals to pupils at a faculty in Rotherham.

Defying the college’s wholesome consuming messaging, he declared: “Why shouldn’t they push pies via the railings? If I have been in cost, I’d do away with Jamie Oliver and inform individuals to eat what they preferred.”

That was in 2006. Wheat was £58/t and we have been on the cusp of the world meals disaster that led to the Arab Spring rebellion.

The optics of introducing a sugar and salt tax in 2022 could also be damaging for a political get together when the nation is struggling to make ends meet.

But abandoning these taxes due to the associated fee-of-residing disaster is one more calculated spin from Number 10.

In July final 12 months, and once more in February 2022, the Financial Times reported that Mr Johnson was apprehensive how these “nanny state” interventions can be obtained.

His rowing again of the proposed reforms can be a part of “Operation Red Meat” (oh, the irony), geared toward rallying wavering Tory MPs behind him.

The social annual price of weight problems within the UK is estimated to stand at about £58bn – equal to 3% of GDP – hardly “nanny state” insignificance.

The prime minister’s opposition to the sugar and salt tax exposes the regarding energy yielded by the meals business.

It means that the wealth it creates is extra necessary than the health it destroys.

There are parallels with the “opioid epidemic” within the US.

The prime minister’s opposition to the sugar and salt tax exposes the regarding energy yielded by the meals business.

We now know that for 3 many years, Big Pharma pedalled a tradition for curing ache as a result of it was considerably extra worthwhile than stopping it – driving cash into the pockets of the rich, disregarding the associated fee to society.

Reformulating meals recipes to exchange the palatability derived from salt and sugar will likely be expensive. But £58bn expensive?

What higher time to lever funding from a tax to assist households via the associated fee-of-residing disaster and redefine how British produce is prioritised, consumed and valued inside society?

Henry Dimbleby spoke of the worrying lack of possession for the federal government’s meals strategy. It wants to be managed centrally and co-ordinated extra clearly, he mentioned.

Conveniently, the ideological arm wrestling inside authorities dissipates accountability.

Defra secretary George Eustice tells us the brand new meals strategy backs farmers to strengthen the resilience of the nation’s provide chains and improve home manufacturing, so “we are going to develop and eat extra of our personal meals”.

But how can we applaud a meals strategy that, as Mr Eustice places it, “incentivises farmers to do proper by our soils”, the bedrock of our farms’ health, whereas dismissing the injury of salt and sugar in processed meals, which is the bedrock of our nation’s health?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Friday MEGA MILLIONS® jackpot is $660 million