Scorch and burn Coalition

By Julian Hunt

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Public health, Nutrition

Scorch and burn Coalition
Phew, what a scorcher! Not the weather, but the blistering pace at which the Coalition has set about delivering a programme for government during its first 100 days. 

This frenetic activity has provided plenty of challenges for our industry: from country of origin labelling to a pledge to introduce an 'adjudicator' to monitor the grocery supply chain.

Arguably, the most significant (and controversial) developments are in public health. But now that the dust has settled, it is clear that the new Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was actually articulating a pragmatic approach to tackling complex issues such as obesity, centred around a new Responsibility Deal with business that is built on shared social responsibility and not state regulation.

Lansley and his government colleagues have also confirmed the future role and remit of the Food Standards Agency with nutrition policy brought back into the Department of Health; a move that we hope will lead to clearer and more consistent policy making in the public health arena.

Although the axe will soon be chopping away at Whitehall budgets, the Department of Health will escape relatively unscathed. So we can expect plenty of action on public health in the months ahead.

Lansley has made it clear he wants a new relationship with business. We need to seize that opportunity and rise to the challenge.

Julian Hunt is director of communications at the Food and Drink Federation.

Related topics: Legal

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