Thank you for taking time to write to me about the Soil Association’s “Taking the Biscuit” campaign.
I share your concern about the issue raised. Ultra-processed foods have damaging impacts on children, particularly those who cannot afford fresh food.
I understand that the campaign would like to see the Good Choice badge removed from ultra-processed products, but I am assured that the Good Choice badge is underpinned by nutrition criteria that determine which products can display the badge. The Good Choice app recognises that for many families, shifting towards the healthiest option may require more than one move.
Currently, the Government is taking steps to assure that our nation is more fresh food friendly. For instance, vital research on obesity, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, is taking place at the National Institute for Health and Social Care, to verify the damaging effects of heavily processed foods.
In addition to research, lower income families are now able to access more fruit and vegetables through the Health Start Scheme as the value of vouchers has increased from £3.10 to £4.25.
The Scientific Advisory on Committee on Nutrition (SACN), which provides recommendations on dietary guidelines, is currently carrying out a scoping review on evidence on processed foods and health. The SACN aims to publish its initial assessment in the summer in 2023.
Please be assured that I will continue to monitor developments closely.
Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking