Sausages too salty in the MPs' chamber

Huw Thomas

Did anyone catch the incident with the sausages in the House of Commons? The crusading MP for Wakefield, Mary Creagh, was admonished by the Speaker for whipping out a tin of the meaty favourites in the chamber.

It was all part of an excellent debate concerning Ms Creagh's Children's Food Bill and, while visual aids are discouraged in the House, Ms Creagh was highlighting the fact that a cartoon character was being used to sell hot-dog sausages, a marketing ploy aimed at children.

Reading the ingredients, including the four grammes of salt (two-thirds of the recommended adult intake), Ms Creagh had made her point, which was that there is a massive amount of money spent every year to entice children into wanting particular foodstuffs.

Last year, pound;700 million was spent on advertising that targeted children. These pied pipers lead our children to a future in which more than half of them will be obese by 2020, according to the Royal College of Physicians. Ms Creagh says: "Children are targeted as consumers, even when they themselves are unable to purchase."

That's why she is working with the food campaigning group Sustain to take the Children's Food Bill through Parliament. Among other measures, it seeks to end the targeted advertising of junk food to children, and it's worth making sure our elected members seek its success. The Bill's website offers an opportunity to contact your MP as well as lots of other information about the campaign.

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Huw Thomas

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