Sorry that title has to be written. News today that the Tory health minister is telling the food industry that they can pay their way out of being regulated on obesity issues so long as they contribute to public health campaigns is straightforwardly ludicrous.
I think Tim Laing of City University got this right on the Today programme this morning when he said that, in his opinion and having undertaken a study of corporate responsibility in this area for the World Health Organisation, the contribution of the corporate sector to tackling obesity was pathetic.
And as he also said, all major advances in public health – be they with regard to food, air, water, transport safety, tobacco and more besides, have always been in the face of staunch opposition from business, and never with their cooperation.
This will remain the case, I am sure. In which case, if the Tories want us to believe they are serious on obesity (and they say they do) then either they’re stupid or they think we are when promoting this new policy. No other conclusion is possible.