Junk food promotions ban pushed back by lobbyists

The government has delayed a ban on junk food promotions by six months after a “huge industry lobbying attempt”.

Plans to outlaw multibuy and “buy one get one free” offers have been forced back to October 2022.

Children’s Food Campaign co-ordinator Barbara Crowther was “disappointed” by the move, warning that “time is running out” for the government’s ambition of halving childhood obesity by 2030.

However, she told The Grocer she was pleased the plan was going ahead given the “huge industry lobbying attempt to bury it”.

READ MORE: Local shops exempt from ban on junk food adverts

“Let’s be in no doubt, this is a good day for public health,” she said.

Food and Drink Federation (FDF) chief scientific officer Kate Halliwell welcomed the delay but was dismayed with “plans to restrict promotions on supermarket shelves.”

She called for ministers to release “detailed guidance” on which foods would be banned.

An FDF report published this month claimed the ban would cost suppliers more than £800,000 a year.

The legislation has also proved controversial among shop owners, who would be forced to remove unhealthy foods near a checkout or entrance. 

The Association of Convenience Stores urged the government to give retailers more time to reorganise their floor.

Chief executive James Lowman also accused the health department of “throwing every idea and policy intervention […] without a clear idea of what will be effective”.

Local shops below 2000 square foot or with under 50 employees will be exempt from the rules.

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