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Karmel blasts salt loophole.

Sir, I welcome the letter on 6 February entitled 'Under-fives need healthy options' and the debate about healthy food for young children and the implementation of proper nutritional guidelines.

I agree with Hillary Graves when she states: "As brands, we have a responsibility to help parents feed their children healthily instead of misleading or confusing them."

However, here is the point: as the regulations currently stand there are many anomalies and any new regulations in this area should address both what is acceptable in the food and then how it should be described on the packaging.

The regulations as they currently stand give rise to the opportunity for misleading statements. For example, when you a buy a meal containing cheese, it is allowed to say on the packet "no added salt" when in fact the meal contains a significant amount of salt, which is contained in the cheese itself.

The regulations state salt must be listed in the ingredients on the packaging for any food included in the meal that contains salt.

However there is an exception--if cheese is added to a meal you do not have to mention in the list that it contains salt. By saying, for example, 'no added salt' does it mean no salt at all, as most parents would assume, or just that the manufacturer has not added of their own volition some extra salt. Salt is salt whether it is in a stock, tomato sauce or a chunk of cheese.

There is the same potential for confusion with sugar.

Annabel Karmel, MBE, creator of the Eat Fussy range of meals for toddlers
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Title Annotation:letters
Author:Karmel, Annabel
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Mar 6, 2010
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