Public Health White Paper/ Responsibility Deal – House of Commons debate

Rt Hon Andrew Lansley MP: “We have learned over the last decade that state interventions alone cannot achieve success. We need a new sense of collective endeavour-a partnership between communities, businesses and individuals that transforms not only the way we deliver public health, but the way we think about it. Through the public health responsibility deal, the Government will work with industry to help people make informed decisions about their diet and lifestyle, to improve the environment for health, and to make healthy choices easier. Through greater use of voluntary and community organisations, we will reach out to families and individuals, and develop new ways to target the foundations of good health. Reflecting the framework in the ladder of interventions developed by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, we will adopt voluntary and less intrusive approaches, so that we can make more progress more quickly and resort to regulation only where we cannot make progress in partnership…”

“The right hon. Gentleman asked about the responsibility deal. Let me give him an example. In 2004, the last Labour Government said that they would introduce front-of-pack food labelling. They wanted to introduce a single traffic-light system. All that fell apart in utter confusion. There was never a consistent front-of-pack food labelling system. The last Government never worked with industry; they worked against industry, and what was the result? A variety of different systems, and nothing consistent for the public to look at.

“Only by working together on a voluntary approach will we start to make progress more quickly, whether it is on labelling, reformulation or activity with employers in the workplace. We will make progress, we will do it more quickly, and we will regulate only when necessary, rather than resorting to regulation and, as the Labour Government did, failing to make any progress and failing to regulate. That is not a basis on which we can deliver the public health improvements that we need.”

Source: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2010-11-30b.669.0

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