The food industry should concentrate on re-formulating products, which are “a major part of the diet” in the interests of nutrition and the avoidance of obesity according to Geoffrey Podger, executive director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Podger told the Consumers, Farmers and Food – Reconciling the Future conference held at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, in London, yesterday [Tuesday], that just because people did not buy special dietary products, that did not mean they did not want healthier food.

“People can change their tastes and it’s important to encourage that,” he said.

“What we need to do is to help people with methods that they can incorporate into their life style. People are not going to go back to eating grass as middle age peasants but what they can do is slightly alter their diet so they eat more salads, they eat slightly less pizza, and there are ways of doing this,” he said.