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Food safety and the nanny state

The UK food industry seems to be getting it in the neck from every angle as the scapegoat for much that is wrong when it comes to obesity and poor diet.

I was driving into our office in Leicester this morning and as I was getting ready to turn left off a busy inner ring road I noticed a person walking along who looked as if they were going to walk across the junction without checking if there was any traffic coming, in this case the traffic was me.

This morning the gods of risk assessment were smiling on me and I felt that the way that this person was walking that they were not going to watch for traffic and walk straight across the junction, even though there was traffic behind me I decided to pull up. Lo and behold the person walked straight across….

On any other morning I might not have stopped and a horrible accident could have ensued, it is also likely that in such an event there would be someone, somewhere, who would try to pin a charge of driving without due care and attention on me….

This same person is a consumer being served by our food industry on a daily basis.

Should we as an industry be expected to take the responsibility for consumers who are not responsible for their own actions?

If our education system is so messed up that it cannot even educate young people about diet and the differences between a healthy diet and an unhealthy diet, should the food industry then carry the can?

If our society is creating a population with no sense of self responsibility and with an ingrained sense of entitlement, should the food industry be held responsible?

As my personal experience today shows, sometimes there are people out there who are going to have problems.

It is time for the food industry to stop being an easy scapegoat.

Disclaimer: I recognise that as an industry we do need to have responsibility for the quality, safety and nutritional value of what we produce, but the public debate at the moment seems to lack a balanced view.

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