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Retailers already setting the pace on public health

Retailers are already working to help people take more responsibility for making healthier eating choices.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retailers already setting the pace on public health

Responding to the White Paper Healthy Lives, Healthy People today (Tuesday) the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the Government's recognition that more regulation is not the answer is welcome.

The BRC is continuing to work with the Health Department as it finalises its ‘responsibility deal' with retailers and other food businesses.

British Retail Consortium Food Director Andrew Opie said: "A less top-down approach that works constructively with food businesses and other organisations is sensible. Too often in the past every ill has been laid at the door of retailers. The new emphasis on personal responsibility and helping people to make healthier choices is welcome. This is exactly what retailers have been doing for years – reducing fat, sugar and salt, offering affordable, nutritious food, providing clear information and backing lifestyle campaigns.

"Retailers removed artificially added trans-fats from all their own brand products three years ago.

"We are already actively involved with the Government in developing the public health ‘responsibility deal'. If these ‘deals' are to play a part in delivering social policy objectives, they need to be supported by the facts, capable of engaging customers and not burdensome for businesses.

"They could can be an opportunity to showcase the good work we're already doing but the Government must sign up all parts of the supply chain not just the usual list of retail good guys."

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