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'Take control of food, farming and fisheries for the public good'

The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) and 80 other organisations representing the health and long-term interests of millions of British citizens have called on the Government to adopt common-sense food, farming and fishing policies that are good for jobs, health and the environment, when they plan the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU).

In a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May and David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, FPH and a coalition of food, farming, fair trade, poverty, health and environmental organisations, argue that good food, farming and fishing policies must be central to any post EU referendum strategy for the UK.

Better food, farming and trade policies could help cut greenhouse gas emissions from farming and food industries by 80% by 2050, and promote healthier diets to combat heart disease, cancers, diabetes and obesity, saving the NHS – and taxpayers – millions.

Such policies could also support a vibrant and diverse economy, supporting good jobs and working conditions, in the UK and overseas. The UK should prioritise ethical and sustainable production methods and protecting the environment, whilst also providing a safe and traceable food supply.

FPH asks the Secretary of State to ensure his advice to the Government is drawn up in full consultation with people with science, health and sustainability expertise in relation to food, farming and fishing, alongside economic concerns.

FPH’s Vice-President for Policy, Professor Simon Capewell, said: "Investing in public health reduces the pressure on our overburdened NHS and represents solid value for money. Diabetes, heart disease and obesity all cost the NHS millions of pounds a year to treat.

"EU-level policy has made a positive impact in addressing these important issues – and in reducing inequalities in health. FPH further urges the Government to launch the Childhood Obesity Strategy and to take the decisive steps needed to address consumption of junk food, particularly among children."

Written: 14/07/2016 , last modified: 27/10/2016