In what is essentially an invitation to the fox to guards the chickens, the UK government has asked big food to help develop new policies.
Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University, London, writes that the U.K. food industry is fighting back over initiatives to reduce calories and mitigate climate change.
He sends an article from the British trade publication, The Grocer, about how the U.K. government has reneged on its "responsibility deal" with industry to reduce calories in food products.
The idea was to demand that food companies reformulate products, control portion size, and take "action to shift to lower calorie options."
But now, in response to industry protests, the U.K. Department of Health is simply inviting food companies to help in the development of calorie-reduction policies.
To this invitation to the fox to guard the chickens, professor Lang comments:
Those of us following the currently fashionable 'nudge' theory and other 'Food Policy lite' initiatives will note this leak about softening the Responsibility Deal on calorie reduction here in England with concern.... Perish the thought that sections of the Food Industry might have lobbied hard to stop any efforts to reduce portion size. Perish, indeed.
Another article in The Grocer points out that Tesco, Britain's leading food retailer, is pulling out of an agreement to put carbon labels on products because doing so is too much trouble.