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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 November 2010

Tories promote fast food nation

MUCH OF the nation's unhealthy consumption of sugar, salt, transfats, saturated fats, and alcohol is down to the promotion of products containing them by the giant corporations that dominate the food and drink industry.

How galling then that Pepsi, McDonald's, KFC, Mars, Unilever and Diageo etc, have been asked by Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley, via five 'responsibility deal' networks, to help write policies on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease for the government.

According to the Guardian: "The alcohol responsibility deal network is chaired by the head of the lobby group the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. The food network to tackle diet and health problems includes processed food manufacturers, fast food companies, and Compass, the catering company famously pilloried by Jamie Oliver for its school menus of turkey twizzlers. The food deal's sub-group on calories is chaired by PepsiCo, owner of Walkers crisps.

"The leading supermarkets are an equally strong presence, while the responsibility deal's physical activity group is chaired by the Fitness Industry Association, which is the lobby group for private gyms and personal trainers."

It's tempting to sum up this farce by saying "it's like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank" but even Dracula would struggle to levitate on a diet of fizzy pop, burgers and fries.

Lansley is continuing the Tory ministerial tradition of putting company profits ahead of health. In May 1990 during the 'Mad Cow' BSE epidemic John Gummer, secretary of state for agriculture, attempted to reassure the public that beef was safe (despite the accumulating evidence that BSE could jump the species barrier to humans) by trying to feed a beefburger to his four-year-old daughter, Cordelia. She sensibly declined!

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The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

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In The Socialist 17 November 2010:


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for your future!

Massive student demo shows anti-cuts anger

24 November - Strike against fees and cuts

Defend student protesters!

10 November demonstration: Students fighting back


War and occupation

Afghanistan: Withdraw the troops now!


Socialist Party workplace news

Kirklees - fighting 400 million budget cut

Protests and meetings against the cuts

Victory in law centre battle

Jobs threat in Knowsley

Ballot cancelled in BA dispute

National Shop Stewards Network: Anti-cuts conference

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Universal Credit - a thinly veiled attack on the sick and unemployed

Coalition turns back the clock on justice

Tories promote fast food nation

Fast news


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition launches its campaign for the 2011 local elections


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: 'Not simply a crisis but an absolute disaster'

Ireland: United Left Alliance to challenge at next general election

Support the Laura Ashley strikers


Socialist Party review

Britain's trillion pound horror story


 

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