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Readers unimpressed by 'sugar tax' idea

ITV News readers have spoken overwhelmingly against the suggestion of a 'sugar tax', made by England's chief medical officer in response to the country's obesity crisis.

At the time of writing, not a single response on Twitter or the ITV News Facebook page has supported the idea floated by Dame Sally Davies.

Aren't the public ever going to be allowed to be responsible for their own health? I am getting so fed up with being told what I can and can't eat.

– Steffie Hilgers

The government should focus on making healthy food cheap and stop food prices rocketing.

– Lucy Taylor

I actually think medical "experts" are a bigger threat to personal freedoms than the police, secret services, GCHQ, etc.

– Iain Gold

Sugar tax may be necessary, warns medical chief

The government may be forced into imposing a 'sugar tax', England's chief medical officer has warned. Credit: Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

A "sugar tax" may be inevitable if the government cannot take strong action to reduce levels in food and drink, England's chief medical officer has warned.

Speaking to MPs this afternoon, Dame Sally Davies said that she expected research to show that "sugar is addictive".

Dame Sally told the House of Commons health committee that the government must be "strong" with food and drink manufacturers, as they wouldn't cut sugar levels themselves.

Until then, she warned: "We may need to move toward some kind of sugar tax, but I hope we don't have to."

In October, experts from Oxford and Reading universities argued a 20% tax on sugary drinks would cut the number of overweight people in the UK by 285,000.


Cooking meat may contribute to dementia risk

The chemicals produced when browning meat may contribute to the development of dementia, a study suggests.

Advanced glycation endproducts (Ages) are abundant in "browned" meat cooked at high temperatures, while barbecued and fried meat may also contain high levels of Ages.

A new study has found links between Advanced glycation endproducts and dementia. Credit: PA Wire

Scientists in the US found evidence that Ages may aid the development of dementia by suppressing a protective anti-ageing enzyme.

Researchers writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences fed mice a high-Ages diet and found that they accumulated harmful proteins in the brain and displayed signs of mental impairment.

Academics said the research was "compelling" but did not provide "definitive answers".

A third of food products on sale are 'mislabelled'

"Meat emulsion", mozzarella made from less than half real cheese and fruit juices containing flame retardant additives are among the mislabelled food items highlighted in a new report.

A third of food products on sale are mislabelled, according to a report Credit: PA

A public laboratory in West Yorkshire tested hundreds of food samples and found that more than a third were not what they claimed to be, or were mislabelled, the Guardian reported.

West Yorkshire's public analyst, Dr Duncan Campbell, said: "We are routinely finding problems with more than a third of samples, which is disturbing at a time when the budget for food standards inspection and analysis is being cut."

Judges name world's finest scotch pie

Judges in Scotland have sampled more than 100 pies to name the winner of the World Scotch Pie Championship.

World Scotch Pie Champion Stephen McAllister poses with his prize Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Stephen McAllister, from Kandy Bar bakers in Saltcoats, won the top accolade in Dunfermline.

He told the Irish Independent that he was "delighted" and that he is "looking forward to ... selling more of our winning pies than ever".

Stephen McAllister from Kandy Bar bakers in Saltcoats Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The competition, now in its 15th year, offers bakers the chance to present their finest sausage rolls, bridies, specialty savouries, Scottish football pies and apple pies in addition to Scotch pies.


British salt and beef granted protected status

Anglesey sea salt and West Country beef and lamb have been awarded European Union protected food name status.

The sea salt is sourced harvested in the Menai Strait in Anglesey Credit: PA

The status guarantees authenticity and origin and prevents imitation products from using their name.

Food name status will protect West Country lamb and beef. Credit: ITV News West Country

Family business Halen Mon Anglesey Sea Salt predicted that being awarded the status will allow it to increase its workforce by 25% this year.

Protected foods 'bring £900 million to economy'

Protected food products in the UK contribute an estimated £900 million to the European economy, and the government is keen to encourage more food producers across the UK to apply for the special status. Farming Minister George Eustice said:

Exceeding the 60th registration is an achievement to be proud of. Legal protection of the quality, provenance and reputation of British food will help small businesses make a valuable economic contribution both locally and nationally.

We now want to help many more UK food producers who are thinking about making an application for protected name status to get their quality produce fully recognised.

UK foods gain protected status

West Country beef and lamb, and Anglesey sea salt have joined the ranks of some of the UK's most famous foods such as Stilton cheese and Melton Mowbray pies by gaining protected status.

West Country beef and lamb are now protected under EU rules. Credit: Press Association

The foods have been awarded European Union protected food name status, which guarantees their authenticity and origin and prevents imitation products from using their name.

The latest awards bring the total of UK products which are protected to more than 60, including Cornish clotted cream, Whitstable oysters and Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese.

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