Kellogg’s faces backlash for promotions challenge

Campaigners have reacted angrily to Kellogg’s decision to take the UK government to court over new laws banning junk food promotions.

The cereals giant is taking legal action over plans to ban promotions of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) at aisle ends, store entrances and checkouts from October this year, the BBC reported this week.

Kellogg's said the rules failed to take into account the nutritional value of milk which, along with yoghurt, is added to cereals in 92% of cases according to the company.

Campaigners, however, derided the tactics as desperate and a waste of public money.

“Kellogg's wants to continue to heavily promote sugary cereals so they've decided to take the government to court on an absurd claim around its new regulations,” said Anna Taylor, executive director at The Food Foundation. “Commercial greed trumps social value. It’s a very short sighted and destructive move. We already spend over £6bn a year treating obesity-related ill health and these costs are set to increase as obesity levels continue to rise. This is money we just can’t afford to be wasting whilst we’re in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.”

Kellogg's said in a statement that it had "tried to have a reasonable conversation with government" over the issue without success hence its legal challenge, which the BBC said the government plans to fight.

"We believe the formula being used by the government to measure the nutritional value of breakfast cereals is wrong and not implemented legally,” said Chris Silcock, Kellogg's UK managing director.

Industry bodies have previously put pressure on the government to postpone the introduction of the new law, which will also ban free refills in the restaurant and out of home sector. However, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently dashed hopes for a delay by publishing new guidance on how the regulations will work when they come into force.

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