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Junk food ad ban could be scrapped under new treasury review

Junk food ad ban could be scrapped

The 9pm advertising watershed on ads for “junk food” could be over before it began following the news that the Treasury has launched a review into the planned HFSS (High in Fat, Salt and Sugar) regulations introduced by Boris Johnson.

The review has reportedly been ordered as part of new PM Liz Truss’ drive to cut the regulatory burden on businesses. The proposed restrictions on promotion of HFSS products, including multi-buy deals, in-store placement and advertising, are predicted to cost more than £1bn a year in lost sales. Truss had already suggested during her leadership campaign that she would bin the ban on multibuy deals.

Whitehall sources told The Guardian that the new review was “deregulatory in focus” and said it could lead to a raft of anti-obesity policies inherited from Johnson being scrapped.

The new rules had already been pushed back to October due to the current economic climate, and the review is expected to look at the proposed TV watershed and online ad ban. Also under the microscope will be the requirement for calorie counts on menus in cafés, takeaways and restaurants which came into force in April.

Truss said during the leadership battle: “People want the government to deliver on issues such as transport, public services, broadband and cutting NHS waiting lists,” rather than “telling them what to eat.”

The news is sure to attract criticism from health campaigners. The latest figures from the House of Common Library, from March, suggest that almost two-thirds of adults in Britain are overweight, and obesity costing the NHS an estimated £1.6bn a year.

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