Ministers are stalling on plans for sustaible food production and healthy eating say critics
Sustainable food production and healthy eating strategies under threat
10th June, 2011
The Sustainable Development Commission has been axed, the Food Standards Agency has had its powers stripped and DEFRA appears to be stalling. Where then does this leave planning for a national sustainable food strategy - and healthy eating plan - asks Nick Hughes?
The self-styled ‘greenest government ever’ has been in power for over a year yet its contribution towards delivering a sustainable food strategy for the UK remains embarrassingly meagre.
Against the backdrop of soaring global food prices, which this month Oxfam chillingly predicted will double by 2030, the need to reduce the UK’s exposure to commodity price volatility has never been greater. However, progress to put in place a national strategy for long term sustainable food production and consumption has ground to a near halt since the coalition assumed office.
In his final report in March this year as commissioner on the now defunct Sustainable Development Commission, Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University, wrote that work on food sustainability went into ‘suspended animation’ after the 2010 election. Three months on and Lang has no reason to alter his opinion. ‘Nothing has happened at all. No initiatives have taken place and the progress which was being made under Labour with cross party support has just stopped,’ he told the Ecologist.
Lang is a food policy doyen who has advised successive governments on issues of health and...
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