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Uncertainty is on the cards post May 7 vote

In just over a day’s time it will all be over (we hope). The nation will have spoken, and with it will be an end to all the political posturing we have endured over the past month or so. No more claim and counter claim from political parties vying for our attention and, more importantly, our votes.

BNF: There's a folate deficiency in young women

One in five teenage girls and young women aged 16–24 years in the UK are deficient in the B vitamin folate, according to the latest figures from the government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS).

Animal by-product changes worry industry

Sir,I am writing with reference to your article (‘Industry resists inspection charges’ , Food Manufacture, April 2015, p37) on the proposal to impose further costs on the food chain by requiring the industry to accept charges for hygiene inspection.

Childhood obesity plateauing

Though still unacceptably high, childhood obesity rates appear to be plateauing, suggesting that the focus on nutrition in schools and other settings is finally starting to pay off. But are we missing a trick?

The food industry’s waste is ‘imprudent' and ‘unnecessary’

Sir,The call for tougher food waste regulations comes as a great welcome (see article 'Boost product life to cut 250,000t of food waste' ).

Lidl's and Aldi's beds look more comfortable

Suppliers aren’t feeling the pinch of the big four’s price cutting, which is their only line of defence against discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Online shopping is the new frontier for food

Could 2015 be the year when online food and drink shopping really takes off? While online sales have been growing rapidly, it’s been from a relatively low base.

Fibre frontiers

Benefits of regular fibre intake were stressed by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition’s call to boost intakes to 30g/day from current intakes of 18g/day.

Muddled messages of sugar debate

The majority of parents claim to be concerned about their children’s sugar intake.

Expect to see seismic changes from retailers

Suppliers to the retail sector can expect seismic changes in their relationships with customers over the year ahead as the multiples attempt to fight back against the rise of the limited range discounters.

Call for action

November’s Rome Declaration on Nutrition committed to worldwide eradication of hunger and prevention of malnutrition in all its forms.

Political posturing set to rise as fad diets fail

News that the voluntary Public Health Responsibility Deal (PHRD) had failed to reach agreement among brand owners on the promotion of foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS), has seen renewed calls for tougher regulation of the food and drink industry.

Boozy calorie counting

The Royal Society of Public Health’s call for calorie labelling of alcoholic drinks is a timely reminder that drinks contribute to energy intake.

The FSA ponders the concept of risky foods

We are becoming a more risk-averse society. But when it comes to food and drink, some consumers – influenced by their personal beliefs and experiences – see things quite differently.

Is organic healthier?

Recent popular press headlines announced that organic fruits and vegetables are healthier as they contain more antioxidants.

Supermarkets must act on campylobacter

Given that campylobacter contamination affects around 60% of fresh chickens on sale and causes around 280,000 cases of food poisoning each year, you’d think everyone in the food supply chain would want to do anything they could to reduce infection levels.

What people really, really want - or look for - on pack

Sir,Ask anyone whether they’d prefer food made from ‘natural’ or ‘artificial’ ingredients and the results will always favour the natural option (see article 'Demand for naturally-sweet rises ', Food Manufacture, October 2014, p21).

Is fresh always best?

The words fresh and vegetables often seem joined at the hip, but is fresh always best?

Suppliers in the frame with Tesco profits hit

Tesco’s bombshell announcement last month that it had overinflated its profits by a staggering £250M for the first six months of the year has really put the proverbial cat among the pigeons.

Walking has a bigger role in the obesity war

Professor Mike Lean of Glasgow University described as “absolute nonsense” Christopher Snowdon’s report from the Institute of Economic Affairs ‘The Fat Lie’, which claimed that a lack of exercise, rather than overeating, was behind obesity.

Beware the views of Britain’s ‘food Taliban’

Nutrition is not a precise science. Most studies on the effects of human dietary intake have to take account of potentially confounding factors, since it is rarely possible to control what people eat in extended studies as it might with lab rats.

SACN shook the industry

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition’s (SACN’s) report on carbohydrates and Public Health England’s subsequent plans for sugar reduction caused a stir last month.

FSA Board shows risk aversion on ‘raw’ milk

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) Board’s decision on raw drinking milk controls (July 23 2014) was based on a risk averse approach in not accepting the recommendation of the FSA officials to modernise the rules so that consumers would be able to buy unpasteurised milk online and from vending machines. The decision was made despite the fact that sales would remain under the control of the farmers and subject to the much stricter controls than those for milk to be pasteurised.

Weighing up the dairy 'risk'

Although the UK’s cardiovascular disease (CVD) rates have been falling, a substantial increase is predicted at a global level.

Discounters' costs will increase as they grow

News that supermarket chain Sainsbury had entered into a £25M joint venture (jv) with Dansk Supermarked to establish 15 Netto stores across the UK was further evidence that the major multiples recognised they needed to do more to address the inexorable rise of hard discounters Aldi and Lidl.