Glenis Willmott,Labour MEP for the East Midlands, has branded yesterday’s announcement by the government to tackle obesity as “ridiculous and short sighted.”Launching the government’s new obesity strategy yesterday, Andrew Lansley, the Health Minister said he will not be regulating the food industry and that it’s up to people themselves to take responsibility for what they eat.
Mrs Willmott has campaigned for the introduction of a ‘traffic light’ system of food labelling so that consumers know at a glance what is in their food so they can make an informed choice as to what they eat.Mrs Willmott said: “We have tried self-regulation in the past and it simply does not work, with the result being that levels of obesity have risen, especially amongst children.
”Mrs Willmott went on to say: “A traffic light system of food labelling would mean that consumers could quickly check whether a particular food item was high (red), medium (amber) or low (green) in salt, sugar and fats.”“This system is supported by a wide range of consumer and health organisations, including the British Heart Foundation and the British Medical Association.”“Mr Lansley is shirking responsibility when he says that he will not impose regulation on the food industry.
”“40,000 people are dying each year in Britain alone, because of high levels of salt and fat in their diets. We cannot let this continue.”“The government needs a coherent and credible policy to tackle the obesity problem and show the public they are serious about the nation’s health.”