Government reiterates desire to partner with business over public health Responsibility Deal

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Responsibility deal Public health Alcoholic beverage

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has reaffirmed the Government’s desire to choose partnerships with businesses rather than regulation to achieve public health goals, although he said there’s still more work to be done on the Responsibility Deal.

This could include new pledges and encouraging more organisations to sign up, said Hunt in a letter to Responsibility Deal signatories.

A number of pub and restaurant operators and suppliers have signed up to pledges in areas such as cutting salt and calorie content in food, calorie and drinks unit labelling and removing ‘trans fats’ from products.

The scheme is seen as a way of avoiding unwanted regulation on businesses.

In his letter, Hunt said: “I have been impressed with the progress made through the Responsibility Deal. The actions taken — from calorie labelling in out-of-home settings to moves to reduce the calorie content of foods; from better labelling of alcoholic drinks to reducing unit strength; from increased levels of physical activity to better health at work — show all of you take the health of staff, customers and communities seriously.

“However, there is more work to do to increase the reach and impact of the Responsibility Deal through encouraging more partners to sign up, making sure that there are appropriate pledges for all sectors and, where appropriate, developing new pledges.”

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