THE ONE billion pound that food and drinks companies claim in tax relief for research and development should be ring-fenced for the “mass production of healthier food”.
That’s according to the Health Action Campaign, which has just produced a report looking at the health and economic implications of today’s food industry.
The campaigners also want to see local authorities given the power to charge fast food outlets higher business rates and offer discounts to those seen to be improving public health.
They also highlight how the much-criticised Change4Life programme had little chance of success, with its £10.9m advertising budget dwarfed by the £1 billion the country’s food and drink brands spend each year. The recommendation is therefore to give Public Health England a budget for communication that at least allows it to compete with commercial brands so consumers have access to “reasonably balanced” messaging.
The news follows research by Mintel, also published this week, showing that 43% of millennials don’t trust big food brands, compared to 18% of non-millennials.