Kellogg’s launches legal challenge against HFSS guidelines

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The manufacturer argued that the formula used to measure the nutritional value of foods was flawed when it came to breakfast cereals – the Nutrient Profiling Model (NPM) only represented portions of dry cereals and not a bowl of cereal and milk.

Kellogg’s requested that the application of the formula be changed so that it reflects the presence of milk with cereal when consumed. A judge acknowledged the case had merit and agreed it could proceed to the next step, which is a court hearing, Kellog’s said.

“Not as expected”

“We have tried to have a discussion with the UK government on several occasions over the past 12 months about this,”said a spokesperson for the automaker. The way the government now proposes to use the NPM is for a purpose for which it was not intended.

Kellogg’s stressed that the initial aim was to answer whether a product could appear in television advertising before 9 p.m. and not to decide whether it could appear in certain areas of the supermarket or online.

“As with many cases, ours is made up of a number of legal arguments, all of which will be argued in court and considered by the judge.added the spokesperson. “Technical guidance that applies NPM is not contained in regulation and has therefore not been considered by Parliament. We believe it is important that a policy of this magnitude be properly implemented.

Kellogg’s also believed that enforcing these new rules went beyond the legal power the Food Safety Act was originally intended for.

“Not Legally Manufactured”

“In other words, Parliament has not yet agreed to give the government these powers,” continued the spokesperson. “Our argument is that, for the above reasons, the regulation was not legally established. »

“This is to look for a small but important change in the application of NMP calculations. Breakfast cereals are dehydrated foods, which are intended to absorb milk to make foods more palatable and give them flavor and desired texture.

“Hardly anyone sits down to a bowl of dry breakfast cereal in the morning – cereal is almost always eaten with milk. And that’s how we think it should be measured – just like most of us eat them.

From October this year, new legislation will limit the retail promotion of HFSS products. The changes could result in a reported loss of £1.1bn a year, according to IRI.

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