Kellogg loses legal challenge against UK government

Government to restrict promotion of high sugar, salt, and fat content products

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Kellogg has lost a legal challenge against the UK government on the government’s decision to lower the sugar content in the products. Photo credit: Vachos Xantinidis on Unsplash
Kellogg has lost a legal challenge against the UK government on the government’s decision to lower the sugar content in the products. Photo credit: Vachos Xantinidis on Unsplash

Kellogg’s argument against new sugar rules did not go well with the British Court. The new rules prohibit high-sugar, salt, and fat-containing products from commercials. The British Court overthrew the company’s legal challenge against government plans to restrict less healthy food.

In a recent event, the British Court overthrew the legal challenge to government plans filed by Kellogg. The company claimed that the government’s formula for calculating the nutritional value of cereals is deficient. 

The company outright stated the government formula was wrong and should adopt a different strategy to measure sugar content.

New government rules to curb childhood obesity

The government established new rules that would curb the promotion of food items high in sugar, salt, or fat in supermarkets and online. As Kellogg manufactures some of the most popular breakfast cereals, the new rules will prevent the company from displaying its products. The main reason is the high sugar content level that most products contain.

The new rules are one of the strategies of the government’s plan to address and curb childhood obesity. The government will restrict the promotion of products with high sugar, salt, and fat from October onwards.

Kellogg pushes back against the new rules

The multinational food company Kellogg went the legal way to challenge the government’s decision. In its argument, the company said cereals are mostly eaten with milk. This changes the nutritional value of the entire meal.

However, the court said that Kellogg’s argument was not that its products are lower in sugar, fat, and salt but that the government should assess how they are consumed. The company wants to have an assessment strategy that looks at the combinations of its products with other foods and ingredients like semi-skimmed milk.

The Froot Loops maker told Reuters that they believe it is crucial to measure cereals in a way that reflects the consumption pattern of people. The company also stated that as most people consume cereals with milk, the government should consider this aspect while framing such rules.

A big setback for Kellogg

According to Reuters, in the case filing, Judge Thomas Linden stated that the company’s suggestion to not regard Frosties as a less healthy product because of the nutritional value of the milk with which the product is consumed was surprising. He mentioned that a minimum of 21% of the consumers of Frosties are children aged 0-15.

The food giant said they remain concerned about the government’s introduction of such regulations, which they think were made without proper Parliamentary scrutiny. With the new rules in effect from 1 October, it will be a significant setback for Kellogg. The company manufactures some of the most popular breakfast cereals, including Frosties, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, and more. The new rules will limit the promotion of products with high fat, salt, and sugar content in all supermarkets and online platforms.

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