The cross-party House of Lords secondary legislation scrutiny committee is holding an evidence session today with public health minister Neil O’Brien on deferring a ban on promotional offers of high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) products.
The committee is considering the Food (Promotion and Placement) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2023, which defers the implementation of a ban on the marketing of multibuy offers of HFSS products in medium and large businesses in England for a further two years, meaning that the ban will not come into effect until October 2025.
The ban will apply both in physical stores and online.
While the explanatory memorandum to the regulation offered reasons for the delay, the committee said it will seek further clarification on the rationale for the deferment. Questions to the minister will also focus on the impact of the delay on the Department of Health and Social Care’s wider programme for reducing obesity in children and on the effect on the NHS, the committee said a communication.
Kevin Dodds, deputy director, Healthy Weight, Food and Nutrition Policy at DHSC, will also attend the evidence session, which is scheduled to start at 4.00pm.
New rules limiting the location of HFSS foods in stores have come into effect as planned in October last year. However, the government in May last year said the restrictions on promotional deals would be delayed by a year to October 2023, citing “the unprecedented global economic situation” and then extended it in June this year for another two years.