BARONESS SUE Miller, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on food and rural affairs, has set out her proposals for a national food policy, in her report “Hungry for Change”.

The report is described as the first comprehensive document from a politician to address the issue of food.

It covers all aspects from health and education to retail and food sources.

The report argues that the new food policy should be coordinated by a cabinet minister and that a Nutrition Council should be created to provide a long-term strategy to improve the national diet.

Other key recommendations include:

  • Introduction of an informative food labelling system
  • Legislation to forbid advertising and promotions aimed at children in regard of food and drink high in sugar, fats or salt
  • Extending the National School Fruit Scheme to all school age children
  • Strengthening the Code of Practice for supermarkets
  • Ensuring that at every level of government – national, regional, sub-regional and local – food strategy should form part of consultations on community plans.

Commenting on the release of the report, Baroness Miller said: “Every day we seem to lurch from one food crisis to the next – from BSE to foot-and-mouth to obesity. Yet the Government still has no coherent food policy.”

“We are paying the price of bad management and bad decisions with our health, with the cost of cleaning up our environment, and with our local producers losing out.”

“Food is one of the best examples of what sustainable means; where social, economic and environmental influences are so closely interwoven that if one of them is missing, food policy will fail. 

“This report provides a balanced set of proposals and I hope it will be a focus for debate.”