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Sugar in Food and Drinks (Targets, Labelling and Advertising) Bill

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to set targets for sugar content in food and drinks; to provide that added sugar content on food and drink labelling be represented in terms of the number of teaspoonfuls of sugar; to provide for standards of information provision in advertising of food and drinks; and for connected purposes.

A

BILL

TO

Require the Secretary of State to set targets for sugar content in food and drinks; to provide that added sugar content on food and drink labelling be represented in terms of the number of teaspoonfuls of sugar; to provide for standards of information provision in advertising of food and drinks; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Targets for sugar content in food

(1) The Secretary of State must, within 3 months of the passing of this Act, exercise his power under section 6 of the Food Standards Act 1999 to request the Food Standards Agency (“the Agency”)—

(a) to produce advice on sugar content by food category;

(b) to publish and promote the World Health Organisation’s current guidelines on daily sugar intake and to translate the recommended daily amounts in grams into teaspoon units at the rate of 4 grams per teaspoon; and

(c) to calculate and publish the total national annual consumption of sugar alongside what that total would have been had the nation been adhering to the World Health Organisation’s recommended daily added sugar intake.

(2) On the basis of the Agency’s advice under section 1(a), the Secretary of State must, within 6 months of receiving that advice, publish targets for the total amount of sugar consumed in the UK (“the Targets”).

(3) The Secretary of State may set different Targets for different categories of person which may be distinguished by age, gender and other relevant matters having a bearing on public health.

(4) The purpose of the Targets shall be to achieve, or to help to achieve, an improvement in public health through an overall reduction in the amount of sugar ingested by consumers following the introduction of sugar content

labelling under section 2 and the making of regulations on food advertising under section 3.

(5) The Secretary of State must—

(a) consult the Agency before publishing the Targets; and

(b) lay an annual report on progress towards achieving the Targets before both Houses of Parliament.

(6) The Secretary of State may amend the Targets if he considers it is necessary to do so.

2 Sugar content labelling on food products

(1) Section 16 of the Food Safety Act 1990 is amended as follows.

(2) After subsection 1(e) there is inserted—

(ea) in addition to any regulatory requirements under paragraph (e), provision for imposing an additional food labelling requirement to represent the added sugar content in food in teaspoon units, where one teaspoon equals 4 grams of sugar, and”.

3 Advertisement of food containing sugar

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make—

(a) provision for requiring the sugar content of food to be declared in teaspoonfuls on any advertisement or promotional material;

(b) provision for prohibiting the use of language suggesting that a food is “healthy” or “low-fat” where the sugar content of the food exceeds 20 per cent; and

(c) provision to restrict the advertising of high sugar foods, as defined as a sugar content above 20 per cent, on television until after the 9.00pm watershed.

4 Orders and regulations

(1) Any power to make an order or regulations under this Act is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(2) A statutory instrument under this Act may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

5 Interpretation

In this Act—

(a) “food” has the same meaning as in the Food Safety Act 1990 which, for the avoidance of doubt, includes drink products, except that unprocessed foodstuffs shall be excluded; and

(b) “food business” has the same meaning as in the Food Safety Act 1990; and“sugar” has the same meaning as in the Food Labelling Regulations 1996.

6 Extent, commencement and citation

(1) This Act extends to England and Wales.

(2) This Act comes into force six months after the day on which it receives Royal Assent.

(3) This Act may be cited as the Sugar in Food and Drinks (Targets, Labelling and Advertising) Act 2017.


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