The Irresponsibility Deal? Why the Government's Responsibility Deal is better for the food industry

This report analyses the Coalition Government's Public Health Responsibility Deal, focusing on the pledges made by members of the food industry. This report shows that, in our view, the Responsibility Deal is not up to the task of reducing the serious health problems caused by our unhealthy diets.

07/09/2011
Children's Food Campaign
32pp - 2011

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This report analyses the Coalition Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal, focusing on the pledges made by members of the food industry. The Government’s stated aim, for this Deal, is to help reduce the serious health problems caused by our unhealthy diets.

We agree that the need for effective public health policies has never been stronger, but this report shows that, in our view, the Responsibility Deal is not up to the task. The analyses conducted by Children’s Food Campaign demonstrates what each “partner” had committed to, but also for the first time, what they had decided not to commit to, and in some cases what they had irrelevantly committed to.


Report contents

1. Introduction: the crisis in our nation’s dietary health

2. Responsibility Deal: corporate takeover of public health policy?

3. Food Network pledges 

  • Out of Home calorie labelling (Pledge 1)
  • Salt reduction (Pledge 2)
  • Artificial trans fats removal (Pledge 3)

4. Who signed up to what - a new perspective

5. Results

  • Missing members: companies who have failed to sign up to key pledges
    • Who rejected Out of Home calorie labelling?
    • Who rejected salt reduction? 
    • Who rejected artificial trans fats removal?
  • Confused companies: businesses who signed up to pledges of little or no relevance to their products
    • Who’s confused about artificial trans fats removal?
    • Who’s confused about Out of Home calorie labelling?
  • Off the hook: businesses who do not need to do anything
    • Who has nothing to do?
    • Who’s focussing on physical activity? 
  • Conspicuous by their absence

6. Our verdict

  • Food pledges are underwhelming
  • Conflicts of interest and failed voluntary approaches
  • Weak evaluation and enforcement

7.  Conclusion and recommendations

Appendix A – table of results

References

 

 

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