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Public Health (11-06-2007)

Robert Madelin holds speech on "Snacks for Health?" at the Snackex international conference in Barcelona

On 4 June, Robert Madelin, Director General for Health and Consumer Protection at the European Commission, on occasion of the three day international snack and nut conference in Barcelona, (Snackex), held a speech on the challenges that lie ahead in Europe in terms of nutrition, advocating: healthier, safer habits for more confident citizens. Whilst listing the range of Commission actions to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity, including a Commission proposal on labeling for the end of 2007, Mr Madelin underlined the importance of monitoring. He discussed the need for a commitment on clear consumer information and labeling on the part of ESA (European Snacks Association). He addressed the importance of corporate social responsibility, with every company in the food sector acting as, and being recognized as, a local leader and partner for health. Furthermore, he highlighted the need, within the industry sector, for a small but adequate investment in monitoring and engaging with partners. Lastly,  Mr Madelin emphasized the importance of engaging strategically and not defensively on the issue of children whereby advertising to children under 12 is to be considered risky corporate behaviour.