Campaigners argue tax relief should be linked to healthy R&D

Campaigners argue tax relief should be linked to healthy R&D

UK campaigners have called for tax relief for food firm's research and development efforts to be linked to the health profile of products in a bid to step-up innovation around healthier alternatives. 

The Health Action Campaign said that there are ways to lower sugar, salt and fat in processed foods without affecting taste but suggested that the food sector has been slow to make progress in this area. The group stressed that the food industry receives GBP1bn each year in corporation tax relief for R&D and suggested that this could be used to "kick start" innovation around health and wellness. 

The call comes alongside publication of the Health Action Campaign's latest report, Healthy and Wealthy? The report examines the health and economic implications for the UK of mass producing food high in sugar, salt, saturated fat and refined carbohydrates. 

"With food companies in the UK still mass producing and retailing food that increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and depression there's an urgent need for action. That's why Health Action Campaign is calling on the government to make R&D tax relief for the food industry conditional on developing healthier food," Health Action Campaign argued.