Tag Archives: warn

UK anti-obesity drive at risk from new US trade deal, doctors warn

Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the United States could lead to even higher rates of obesity through the import of American foods high in fat and sugar, children’s doctors have warned.

US “hostility” towards measures aimed at promoting healthier eating habits, such as traffic light labelling, is also a major threat to the government’s anti-obesity drive, it has been claimed.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is urging ministers to resist pressure to unwind key public health measures in their quest for a future transatlantic trade deal.

“We’re concerned by the evidence of US hostility in trade talks towards countries that want to set their own domestic agenda on reducing sugar intake, particularly the push [from the US] to keep traffic light labelling voluntary. We can’t allow trade talks to undermine efforts to tackle childhood obesity,” said Prof Russell Viner, the RCPCH president.

“Children’s health outcomes are much worse in the US than in many other comparable countries, and we don’t want to import these along with the sugar.”

Viner’s warning comes as Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, prepares to fly to Washington this week for talks about the shape of a future UK/US trade deal after Britain has left the EU.


We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of the food charity Sustain

Donald Trump wants US farmers to be able to export more of their produce to Britain after Brexit and has railed against the EU for its “very unfair” and “very, very protectionist” policies.

Previous discussions have been overshadowed by a row over whether or not Britain in future would have to accept chlorinated chicken from the US as part of any agreement.

Sustain, the food charity, highlighted a US government document on striking trade deals with other countries – the 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers – as evidence of US “aggression” towards countries it trades with having tougher food rules than apply in America.

“The US record on trade is clear. They export corn syrup, processed junk food and sugar. And along with it obesity, diabetes and diet-related disease,” said Kath Dalmeny, Sustain’s chief executive.

“We’ve been told that No 10 is preparing to update its obesity strategy. Part of that must be to get us all eating more healthily.

“But a sugary, junk-filled trade deal will drive a coach and horses through it all. We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US. Trade deals must put public health first.”

Donald Trump eats a pork chop


Donald Trump eating a pork chop. He wants US farmers to be able to export more produce to the UK after Brexit. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Recent research by the Harvard University school of public health pinpointed free trade deals involving the US as a key factor in a process of “nutrition transition” – from a traditional native diet to a much more western one – which is producing greater obesity in countries as a result of globalisation.

“Trade liberalisation gives people access to different types of food and, often, more high-calorie foods,” it said. “It also removes barriers to foreign investment in food distribution and allows multinational companies and fast-food chains to expand into new countries.”

The authors cite China as an example of where globalisation has made low-cost, high-calorie food more available. Chinese consumption of meat and dairy products more then tripled between 1989 and 1997, while higher intake of vegetable oil between 1989 and 2004 – thanks to its fall in price – means that Chinese people now consume an average of 183 calories a day from that source.

While globalisation has improved the life of many people in the developing world “it has also increased access to cheap, unhealthy foods and brought with it more sedentary, urban lifestyles. From a public health perspective the combination of these changes is creating a perfect storm of a catastrophic and costly rise in obesity and obesity-related disease.”

There is also concern that Britain could be forced to accept lower-quality milk from cows with infected udders as part of a future UK/US trade deal.

US rules on milk production allow it to contain more than double the amount of somatic cells – white blood cells that fight bacterial infections – than are found in British milk. The US dairy industry wants the UK to relax its standards and has lobbied the Trump administration about the future deal.

Milk containing a high number of somatic cells is poorer nutritionally and of a lower quality, and can suggest low animal welfare standards.

“In general, animal welfare standards in the UK are higher than in almost any other country, including the US,” Peter Plate, a lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, said last month.

“So a free trade deal has the potential danger to either dilute welfare standards here or put UK farmers into an uncompetitive position. We must avoid a race to the bottom.”

UK anti-obesity drive at risk from new US trade deal, doctors warn

Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the United States could lead to even higher rates of obesity through the import of American foods high in fat and sugar, children’s doctors have warned.

US “hostility” towards measures aimed at promoting healthier eating habits, such as traffic light labelling, is also a major threat to the government’s anti-obesity drive, it has been claimed.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is urging ministers to resist pressure to unwind key public health measures in their quest for a future transatlantic trade deal.

“We’re concerned by the evidence of US hostility in trade talks towards countries that want to set their own domestic agenda on reducing sugar intake, particularly the push [from the US] to keep traffic light labelling voluntary. We can’t allow trade talks to undermine efforts to tackle childhood obesity,” said Prof Russell Viner, the RCPCH president.

“Children’s health outcomes are much worse in the US than in many other comparable countries, and we don’t want to import these along with the sugar.”

Viner’s warning comes as Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, prepares to fly to Washington this week for talks about the shape of a future UK/US trade deal after Britain has left the EU.


We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of the food charity Sustain

Donald Trump wants US farmers to be able to export more of their produce to Britain after Brexit and has railed against the EU for its “very unfair” and “very, very protectionist” policies.

Previous discussions have been overshadowed by a row over whether or not Britain in future would have to accept chlorinated chicken from the US as part of any agreement.

Sustain, the food charity, highlighted a US government document on striking trade deals with other countries – the 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers – as evidence of US “aggression” towards countries it trades with having tougher food rules than apply in America.

“The US record on trade is clear. They export corn syrup, processed junk food and sugar. And along with it obesity, diabetes and diet-related disease,” said Kath Dalmeny, Sustain’s chief executive.

“We’ve been told that No 10 is preparing to update its obesity strategy. Part of that must be to get us all eating more healthily.

“But a sugary, junk-filled trade deal will drive a coach and horses through it all. We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US. Trade deals must put public health first.”

Donald Trump eats a pork chop


Donald Trump eating a pork chop. He wants US farmers to be able to export more produce to the UK after Brexit. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Recent research by the Harvard University school of public health pinpointed free trade deals involving the US as a key factor in a process of “nutrition transition” – from a traditional native diet to a much more western one – which is producing greater obesity in countries as a result of globalisation.

“Trade liberalisation gives people access to different types of food and, often, more high-calorie foods,” it said. “It also removes barriers to foreign investment in food distribution and allows multinational companies and fast-food chains to expand into new countries.”

The authors cite China as an example of where globalisation has made low-cost, high-calorie food more available. Chinese consumption of meat and dairy products more then tripled between 1989 and 1997, while higher intake of vegetable oil between 1989 and 2004 – thanks to its fall in price – means that Chinese people now consume an average of 183 calories a day from that source.

While globalisation has improved the life of many people in the developing world “it has also increased access to cheap, unhealthy foods and brought with it more sedentary, urban lifestyles. From a public health perspective the combination of these changes is creating a perfect storm of a catastrophic and costly rise in obesity and obesity-related disease.”

There is also concern that Britain could be forced to accept lower-quality milk from cows with infected udders as part of a future UK/US trade deal.

US rules on milk production allow it to contain more than double the amount of somatic cells – white blood cells that fight bacterial infections – than are found in British milk. The US dairy industry wants the UK to relax its standards and has lobbied the Trump administration about the future deal.

Milk containing a high number of somatic cells is poorer nutritionally and of a lower quality, and can suggest low animal welfare standards.

“In general, animal welfare standards in the UK are higher than in almost any other country, including the US,” Peter Plate, a lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, said last month.

“So a free trade deal has the potential danger to either dilute welfare standards here or put UK farmers into an uncompetitive position. We must avoid a race to the bottom.”

UK anti-obesity drive at risk from new US trade deal, doctors warn

Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the United States could lead to even higher rates of obesity through the import of American foods high in fat and sugar, children’s doctors have warned.

US “hostility” towards measures aimed at promoting healthier eating habits, such as traffic light labelling, is also a major threat to the government’s anti-obesity drive, it has been claimed.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is urging ministers to resist pressure to unwind key public health measures in their quest for a future transatlantic trade deal.

“We’re concerned by the evidence of US hostility in trade talks towards countries that want to set their own domestic agenda on reducing sugar intake, particularly the push [from the US] to keep traffic light labelling voluntary. We can’t allow trade talks to undermine efforts to tackle childhood obesity,” said Prof Russell Viner, the RCPCH president.

“Children’s health outcomes are much worse in the US than in many other comparable countries, and we don’t want to import these along with the sugar.”

Viner’s warning comes as Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, prepares to fly to Washington this week for talks about the shape of a future UK/US trade deal after Britain has left the EU.


We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of the food charity Sustain

Donald Trump wants US farmers to be able to export more of their produce to Britain after Brexit and has railed against the EU for its “very unfair” and “very, very protectionist” policies.

Previous discussions have been overshadowed by a row over whether or not Britain in future would have to accept chlorinated chicken from the US as part of any agreement.

Sustain, the food charity, highlighted a US government document on striking trade deals with other countries – the 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers – as evidence of US “aggression” towards countries it trades with having tougher food rules than apply in America.

“The US record on trade is clear. They export corn syrup, processed junk food and sugar. And along with it obesity, diabetes and diet-related disease,” said Kath Dalmeny, Sustain’s chief executive.

“We’ve been told that No 10 is preparing to update its obesity strategy. Part of that must be to get us all eating more healthily.

“But a sugary, junk-filled trade deal will drive a coach and horses through it all. We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US. Trade deals must put public health first.”

Donald Trump eats a pork chop


Donald Trump eating a pork chop. He wants US farmers to be able to export more produce to the UK after Brexit. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Recent research by the Harvard University school of public health pinpointed free trade deals involving the US as a key factor in a process of “nutrition transition” – from a traditional native diet to a much more western one – which is producing greater obesity in countries as a result of globalisation.

“Trade liberalisation gives people access to different types of food and, often, more high-calorie foods,” it said. “It also removes barriers to foreign investment in food distribution and allows multinational companies and fast-food chains to expand into new countries.”

The authors cite China as an example of where globalisation has made low-cost, high-calorie food more available. Chinese consumption of meat and dairy products more then tripled between 1989 and 1997, while higher intake of vegetable oil between 1989 and 2004 – thanks to its fall in price – means that Chinese people now consume an average of 183 calories a day from that source.

While globalisation has improved the life of many people in the developing world “it has also increased access to cheap, unhealthy foods and brought with it more sedentary, urban lifestyles. From a public health perspective the combination of these changes is creating a perfect storm of a catastrophic and costly rise in obesity and obesity-related disease.”

There is also concern that Britain could be forced to accept lower-quality milk from cows with infected udders as part of a future UK/US trade deal.

US rules on milk production allow it to contain more than double the amount of somatic cells – white blood cells that fight bacterial infections – than are found in British milk. The US dairy industry wants the UK to relax its standards and has lobbied the Trump administration about the future deal.

Milk containing a high number of somatic cells is poorer nutritionally and of a lower quality, and can suggest low animal welfare standards.

“In general, animal welfare standards in the UK are higher than in almost any other country, including the US,” Peter Plate, a lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, said last month.

“So a free trade deal has the potential danger to either dilute welfare standards here or put UK farmers into an uncompetitive position. We must avoid a race to the bottom.”

UK anti-obesity drive at risk from new US trade deal, doctors warn

Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the United States could lead to even higher rates of obesity through the import of American foods high in fat and sugar, children’s doctors have warned.

US “hostility” towards measures aimed at promoting healthier eating habits, such as traffic light labelling, is also a major threat to the government’s anti-obesity drive, it has been claimed.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is urging ministers to resist pressure to unwind key public health measures in their quest for a future transatlantic trade deal.

“We’re concerned by the evidence of US hostility in trade talks towards countries that want to set their own domestic agenda on reducing sugar intake, particularly the push [from the US] to keep traffic light labelling voluntary. We can’t allow trade talks to undermine efforts to tackle childhood obesity,” said Prof Russell Viner, the RCPCH president.

“Children’s health outcomes are much worse in the US than in many other comparable countries, and we don’t want to import these along with the sugar.”

Viner’s warning comes as Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, prepares to fly to Washington this week for talks about the shape of a future UK/US trade deal after Britain has left the EU.


We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of the food charity Sustain

Donald Trump wants US farmers to be able to export more of their produce to Britain after Brexit and has railed against the EU for its “very unfair” and “very, very protectionist” policies.

Previous discussions have been overshadowed by a row over whether or not Britain in future would have to accept chlorinated chicken from the US as part of any agreement.

Sustain, the food charity, highlighted a US government document on striking trade deals with other countries – the 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers – as evidence of US “aggression” towards countries it trades with having tougher food rules than apply in America.

“The US record on trade is clear. They export corn syrup, processed junk food and sugar. And along with it obesity, diabetes and diet-related disease,” said Kath Dalmeny, Sustain’s chief executive.

“We’ve been told that No 10 is preparing to update its obesity strategy. Part of that must be to get us all eating more healthily.

“But a sugary, junk-filled trade deal will drive a coach and horses through it all. We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US. Trade deals must put public health first.”

Donald Trump eats a pork chop


Donald Trump eating a pork chop. He wants US farmers to be able to export more produce to the UK after Brexit. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Recent research by the Harvard University school of public health pinpointed free trade deals involving the US as a key factor in a process of “nutrition transition” – from a traditional native diet to a much more western one – which is producing greater obesity in countries as a result of globalisation.

“Trade liberalisation gives people access to different types of food and, often, more high-calorie foods,” it said. “It also removes barriers to foreign investment in food distribution and allows multinational companies and fast-food chains to expand into new countries.”

The authors cite China as an example of where globalisation has made low-cost, high-calorie food more available. Chinese consumption of meat and dairy products more then tripled between 1989 and 1997, while higher intake of vegetable oil between 1989 and 2004 – thanks to its fall in price – means that Chinese people now consume an average of 183 calories a day from that source.

While globalisation has improved the life of many people in the developing world “it has also increased access to cheap, unhealthy foods and brought with it more sedentary, urban lifestyles. From a public health perspective the combination of these changes is creating a perfect storm of a catastrophic and costly rise in obesity and obesity-related disease.”

There is also concern that Britain could be forced to accept lower-quality milk from cows with infected udders as part of a future UK/US trade deal.

US rules on milk production allow it to contain more than double the amount of somatic cells – white blood cells that fight bacterial infections – than are found in British milk. The US dairy industry wants the UK to relax its standards and has lobbied the Trump administration about the future deal.

Milk containing a high number of somatic cells is poorer nutritionally and of a lower quality, and can suggest low animal welfare standards.

“In general, animal welfare standards in the UK are higher than in almost any other country, including the US,” Peter Plate, a lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, said last month.

“So a free trade deal has the potential danger to either dilute welfare standards here or put UK farmers into an uncompetitive position. We must avoid a race to the bottom.”

UK anti-obesity drive at risk from new US trade deal, doctors warn

Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the United States could lead to even higher rates of obesity through the import of American foods high in fat and sugar, children’s doctors have warned.

US “hostility” towards measures aimed at promoting healthier eating habits, such as traffic light labelling, is also a major threat to the government’s anti-obesity drive, it has been claimed.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is urging ministers to resist pressure to unwind key public health measures in their quest for a future transatlantic trade deal.

“We’re concerned by the evidence of US hostility in trade talks towards countries that want to set their own domestic agenda on reducing sugar intake, particularly the push [from the US] to keep traffic light labelling voluntary. We can’t allow trade talks to undermine efforts to tackle childhood obesity,” said Prof Russell Viner, the RCPCH president.

“Children’s health outcomes are much worse in the US than in many other comparable countries, and we don’t want to import these along with the sugar.”

Viner’s warning comes as Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, prepares to fly to Washington this week for talks about the shape of a future UK/US trade deal after Britain has left the EU.


We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of the food charity Sustain

Donald Trump wants US farmers to be able to export more of their produce to Britain after Brexit and has railed against the EU for its “very unfair” and “very, very protectionist” policies.

Previous discussions have been overshadowed by a row over whether or not Britain in future would have to accept chlorinated chicken from the US as part of any agreement.

Sustain, the food charity, highlighted a US government document on striking trade deals with other countries – the 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers – as evidence of US “aggression” towards countries it trades with having tougher food rules than apply in America.

“The US record on trade is clear. They export corn syrup, processed junk food and sugar. And along with it obesity, diabetes and diet-related disease,” said Kath Dalmeny, Sustain’s chief executive.

“We’ve been told that No 10 is preparing to update its obesity strategy. Part of that must be to get us all eating more healthily.

“But a sugary, junk-filled trade deal will drive a coach and horses through it all. We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US. Trade deals must put public health first.”

Donald Trump eats a pork chop


Donald Trump eating a pork chop. He wants US farmers to be able to export more produce to the UK after Brexit. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Recent research by the Harvard University school of public health pinpointed free trade deals involving the US as a key factor in a process of “nutrition transition” – from a traditional native diet to a much more western one – which is producing greater obesity in countries as a result of globalisation.

“Trade liberalisation gives people access to different types of food and, often, more high-calorie foods,” it said. “It also removes barriers to foreign investment in food distribution and allows multinational companies and fast-food chains to expand into new countries.”

The authors cite China as an example of where globalisation has made low-cost, high-calorie food more available. Chinese consumption of meat and dairy products more then tripled between 1989 and 1997, while higher intake of vegetable oil between 1989 and 2004 – thanks to its fall in price – means that Chinese people now consume an average of 183 calories a day from that source.

While globalisation has improved the life of many people in the developing world “it has also increased access to cheap, unhealthy foods and brought with it more sedentary, urban lifestyles. From a public health perspective the combination of these changes is creating a perfect storm of a catastrophic and costly rise in obesity and obesity-related disease.”

There is also concern that Britain could be forced to accept lower-quality milk from cows with infected udders as part of a future UK/US trade deal.

US rules on milk production allow it to contain more than double the amount of somatic cells – white blood cells that fight bacterial infections – than are found in British milk. The US dairy industry wants the UK to relax its standards and has lobbied the Trump administration about the future deal.

Milk containing a high number of somatic cells is poorer nutritionally and of a lower quality, and can suggest low animal welfare standards.

“In general, animal welfare standards in the UK are higher than in almost any other country, including the US,” Peter Plate, a lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, said last month.

“So a free trade deal has the potential danger to either dilute welfare standards here or put UK farmers into an uncompetitive position. We must avoid a race to the bottom.”

UK anti-obesity drive at risk from new US trade deal, doctors warn

Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the United States could lead to even higher rates of obesity through the import of American foods high in fat and sugar, children’s doctors have warned.

US “hostility” towards measures aimed at promoting healthier eating habits, such as traffic light labelling, is also a major threat to the government’s anti-obesity drive, it has been claimed.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is urging ministers to resist pressure to unwind key public health measures in their quest for a future transatlantic trade deal.

“We’re concerned by the evidence of US hostility in trade talks towards countries that want to set their own domestic agenda on reducing sugar intake, particularly the push [from the US] to keep traffic light labelling voluntary. We can’t allow trade talks to undermine efforts to tackle childhood obesity,” said Prof Russell Viner, the RCPCH president.

“Children’s health outcomes are much worse in the US than in many other comparable countries, and we don’t want to import these along with the sugar.”

Viner’s warning comes as Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, prepares to fly to Washington this week for talks about the shape of a future UK/US trade deal after Britain has left the EU.


We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of the food charity Sustain

Donald Trump wants US farmers to be able to export more of their produce to Britain after Brexit and has railed against the EU for its “very unfair” and “very, very protectionist” policies.

Previous discussions have been overshadowed by a row over whether or not Britain in future would have to accept chlorinated chicken from the US as part of any agreement.

Sustain, the food charity, highlighted a US government document on striking trade deals with other countries – the 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers – as evidence of US “aggression” towards countries it trades with having tougher food rules than apply in America.

“The US record on trade is clear. They export corn syrup, processed junk food and sugar. And along with it obesity, diabetes and diet-related disease,” said Kath Dalmeny, Sustain’s chief executive.

“We’ve been told that No 10 is preparing to update its obesity strategy. Part of that must be to get us all eating more healthily.

“But a sugary, junk-filled trade deal will drive a coach and horses through it all. We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US. Trade deals must put public health first.”

Donald Trump eats a pork chop


Donald Trump eating a pork chop. He wants US farmers to be able to export more produce to the UK after Brexit. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Recent research by the Harvard University school of public health pinpointed free trade deals involving the US as a key factor in a process of “nutrition transition” – from a traditional native diet to a much more western one – which is producing greater obesity in countries as a result of globalisation.

“Trade liberalisation gives people access to different types of food and, often, more high-calorie foods,” it said. “It also removes barriers to foreign investment in food distribution and allows multinational companies and fast-food chains to expand into new countries.”

The authors cite China as an example of where globalisation has made low-cost, high-calorie food more available. Chinese consumption of meat and dairy products more then tripled between 1989 and 1997, while higher intake of vegetable oil between 1989 and 2004 – thanks to its fall in price – means that Chinese people now consume an average of 183 calories a day from that source.

While globalisation has improved the life of many people in the developing world “it has also increased access to cheap, unhealthy foods and brought with it more sedentary, urban lifestyles. From a public health perspective the combination of these changes is creating a perfect storm of a catastrophic and costly rise in obesity and obesity-related disease.”

There is also concern that Britain could be forced to accept lower-quality milk from cows with infected udders as part of a future UK/US trade deal.

US rules on milk production allow it to contain more than double the amount of somatic cells – white blood cells that fight bacterial infections – than are found in British milk. The US dairy industry wants the UK to relax its standards and has lobbied the Trump administration about the future deal.

Milk containing a high number of somatic cells is poorer nutritionally and of a lower quality, and can suggest low animal welfare standards.

“In general, animal welfare standards in the UK are higher than in almost any other country, including the US,” Peter Plate, a lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, said last month.

“So a free trade deal has the potential danger to either dilute welfare standards here or put UK farmers into an uncompetitive position. We must avoid a race to the bottom.”

UK anti-obesity drive at risk from new US trade deal, doctors warn

Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the United States could lead to even higher rates of obesity through the import of American foods high in fat and sugar, children’s doctors have warned.

US “hostility” towards measures aimed at promoting healthier eating habits, such as traffic light labelling, is also a major threat to the government’s anti-obesity drive, it has been claimed.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is urging ministers to resist pressure to unwind key public health measures in their quest for a future transatlantic trade deal.

“We’re concerned by the evidence of US hostility in trade talks towards countries that want to set their own domestic agenda on reducing sugar intake, particularly the push [from the US] to keep traffic light labelling voluntary. We can’t allow trade talks to undermine efforts to tackle childhood obesity,” said Prof Russell Viner, the RCPCH president.

“Children’s health outcomes are much worse in the US than in many other comparable countries, and we don’t want to import these along with the sugar.”

Viner’s warning comes as Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, prepares to fly to Washington this week for talks about the shape of a future UK/US trade deal after Britain has left the EU.


We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of the food charity Sustain

Donald Trump wants US farmers to be able to export more of their produce to Britain after Brexit and has railed against the EU for its “very unfair” and “very, very protectionist” policies.

Previous discussions have been overshadowed by a row over whether or not Britain in future would have to accept chlorinated chicken from the US as part of any agreement.

Sustain, the food charity, highlighted a US government document on striking trade deals with other countries – the 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers – as evidence of US “aggression” towards countries it trades with having tougher food rules than apply in America.

“The US record on trade is clear. They export corn syrup, processed junk food and sugar. And along with it obesity, diabetes and diet-related disease,” said Kath Dalmeny, Sustain’s chief executive.

“We’ve been told that No 10 is preparing to update its obesity strategy. Part of that must be to get us all eating more healthily.

“But a sugary, junk-filled trade deal will drive a coach and horses through it all. We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US. Trade deals must put public health first.”

Donald Trump eats a pork chop


Donald Trump eating a pork chop. He wants US farmers to be able to export more produce to the UK after Brexit. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Recent research by the Harvard University school of public health pinpointed free trade deals involving the US as a key factor in a process of “nutrition transition” – from a traditional native diet to a much more western one – which is producing greater obesity in countries as a result of globalisation.

“Trade liberalisation gives people access to different types of food and, often, more high-calorie foods,” it said. “It also removes barriers to foreign investment in food distribution and allows multinational companies and fast-food chains to expand into new countries.”

The authors cite China as an example of where globalisation has made low-cost, high-calorie food more available. Chinese consumption of meat and dairy products more then tripled between 1989 and 1997, while higher intake of vegetable oil between 1989 and 2004 – thanks to its fall in price – means that Chinese people now consume an average of 183 calories a day from that source.

While globalisation has improved the life of many people in the developing world “it has also increased access to cheap, unhealthy foods and brought with it more sedentary, urban lifestyles. From a public health perspective the combination of these changes is creating a perfect storm of a catastrophic and costly rise in obesity and obesity-related disease.”

There is also concern that Britain could be forced to accept lower-quality milk from cows with infected udders as part of a future UK/US trade deal.

US rules on milk production allow it to contain more than double the amount of somatic cells – white blood cells that fight bacterial infections – than are found in British milk. The US dairy industry wants the UK to relax its standards and has lobbied the Trump administration about the future deal.

Milk containing a high number of somatic cells is poorer nutritionally and of a lower quality, and can suggest low animal welfare standards.

“In general, animal welfare standards in the UK are higher than in almost any other country, including the US,” Peter Plate, a lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, said last month.

“So a free trade deal has the potential danger to either dilute welfare standards here or put UK farmers into an uncompetitive position. We must avoid a race to the bottom.”

UK anti-obesity drive at risk from new US trade deal, doctors warn

Britain’s post-Brexit trade deal with the United States could lead to even higher rates of obesity through the import of American foods high in fat and sugar, children’s doctors have warned.

US “hostility” towards measures aimed at promoting healthier eating habits, such as traffic light labelling, is also a major threat to the government’s anti-obesity drive, it has been claimed.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is urging ministers to resist pressure to unwind key public health measures in their quest for a future trans-Atlantic trade deal.

“We’re concerned by the evidence of US hostility in trade talks towards countries that want to set their own domestic agenda on reducing sugar intake, particularly the push [from the US] to keep traffic light labelling voluntary. We can’t allow trade talks to undermine efforts to tackle childhood obesity,” said Prof Russell Viner, the RCPCH president.

“Children’s health outcomes are much worse in the US than in many other comparable countries, and we don’t want to import these along with the sugar.”

Viner’s warning comes as Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, prepares to fly to Washington this week for talks about the shape of a future UK/US trade deal after Britain has left the EU. Previous discussions have been overshadowed by a row over whether or not Britain in future would have to accept chlorinated chicken from the US as part of any agreement.

Sustain, the food charity, highlighted a US government document on striking trade deals with other countries – the 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers – as evidence of US “aggression” towards countries it trades with having tougher food rules than apply in America.


We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US

Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of the food charity Sustain

“The US record on trade is clear. They export corn syrup, processed junk food and sugar. And along with it obesity, diabetes and diet-related disease,” said Kath Dalmeny, its chief executive.

“We’ve been told that No 10 is preparing to update its obesity strategy. Part of that must be to get us all eating more healthily. But a sugary, junk-filled trade deal will drive a coach and horses through it all. We mustn’t sell off our children’s health in exchange for a trade deal with the US. Trade deals must put public health first,” she said.

Recent research by the Harvard University school of public health pinpointed free trade deals involving the US as a key factor in a process of “nutrition transition” – from a traditional native diet to a much more western one – which is producing greater obesity in countries as a result of globalisation.

“Trade liberalisation gives people access to different types of food and, often, more high-calorie foods,” it said. “It also removes barriers to foreign investment in food distribution and allows multinational companies and fast-food chains to expand into new countries.”

The authors cite China as an example of where globalisation has made low-cost, high-calorie food more available. Chinese consumption of meat and dairy products more then tripled between 1989 and 1997, while higher intake of vegetable oil between 1989 and 2004 thanks to its fall in price means that Chinese people now consume an average of 183 calories a day from that source.

Donald Trump eats a pork chop


Donald Trump wants US farmers to be able to export more produce to the UK after Brexit. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

While globalisation has improved the life of many people in the developing world “it has also increased access to cheap, unhealthy foods and brought with it more sedentary, urban lifestyles. From a public health perspective the combination of these changes is creating a perfect storm [of] a catastrophic and costly rise in obesity and obesity-related disease”.

There is also concern that Britain could be forced to accept lower-quality milk from cows with infected udders as part of a future UK/US trade deal. US rules on milk production allow it to contain more than double the amount of somatic cells – white blood cells that fight bacterial infections – than are found in British milk. The US dairy industry wants the UK to relax its standards and has lobbied the Trump administration about the future deal.

Milk containing a high number of somatic cells is poorer nutritionally and of a lower quality, and can suggest low animal welfare standards. “In general, animal welfare standards in the UK are higher than in almost any other country, including the US. So a free trade deal has the potential danger to either dilute welfare standards here or put UK farmers into an uncompetitive position. We must avoid a race to the bottom,” Peter Plate, a lecturer at the Royal Veterinary College, said last month.

Donald Trump wants US farmers to be able to export more of their produce to Britain after Brexit and has railed against the EU for its “very unfair” and “very, very protectionist” policies.

DIY faecal transplants carry risks including HIV and hepatitis, warn experts

Faecal transplants have been used in medical settings to tackle superbugs, but following YouTube videos at home is too risky, say researchers

Links between microbes in the gut and a host of health problems have led to growing interest in the idea of faecal transplants.


Links between microbes in the gut and a host of health problems have led to growing interest in the idea of faecal transplants. Photograph: Getty Images

Concerns have been raised about the growing trend for DIY faecal transplants, with experts fearing such attempts could put individuals at an increased risk of HIV and hepatitis as well as conditions ranging from Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis to obesity and sleep disorders.

The transfer of faeces from one human to another has gained attention as a growing number of studies have suggested links between microbes in the gut and a host of health problems, from autoimmune diseases to anxiety.

Currently, implanting a “healthy” gut microbiome into a recipient is one of the treatments used in medical settings to tackle the superbug Clostridium difficile. But with some claiming the procedure could help a wide range of conditions, a plethora of YouTube videos have sprung up revealing in how to carry out faecal transplants at home.

Experts have raised concerns, stressing that screening is vital to prevent problematic microbes, including those linked to MS and Parkinson’s, from being transferred to recipients – a particular concern for those attempting a DIY procedure.

“Given that we know that these are things that in mice, at least, can be transmitted by the microbiome, it is not cause for panic yet, but it is certainly cause for concern that the same might be true in humans,” said Rob Knight, professor of paediatrics, computer science and engineering at the University of California San Diego, who is presenting his latest work on the microbiome at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin this week.

While research has long suggested that obesity could be linked to the microbiome, recent studies have suggested a host of other issues, including sleep disorders, could also be associated with changes in the gut flora. Furthermore, Knight noted that studies have revealed that there are differences in the microbiomes of those with and without conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. “[Very recently] we were able to show that you can transmit aspects of the disease from humans into mice by transmitting the microbiome,” said Knight, although he noted that a particular genetic change was needed in the mice in the case of Parkinson’s.

Currently faecal transplant is used as a treatment for Clostridium difficile infections – the goal being to reseed the gut with “good” microbes. Donors are screened for conditions including infectious diseases and parasites, while those with autoimmune diseases, a history of cancer or gastrointestinal problems are excluded as donors. However Knight stressed that with research throwing up an ever-increasing number of conditions linked to the microbiome, screening is set to become increasingly important. “Tests that look at the whole microbiome profile are still at the research stage,” he said.

The risk of inadvertently transferring either diseases or problematic microbes, he added, are even greater for individuals taking matters into their own hands – a trend Knight said is growing. “It is regrettably something that is increasing in frequency,” he said, noting that in particular those with incurable diseases are often willing to try anything, even if evidence for a procedure is scanty.

The fear that faecal transplants could give recipients more than they bargained for is underscored by a case study from 2015 in which a woman undergoing a faecal transplant for a C. difficile infection ended up becoming obese after receiving a stool sample from her healthy but overweight daughter.

Knight added that his team is currently part of a project that will “Basically capture stool from donors and recipients of faecal transplants on a national scale in the United states so we can get a sense of long term outcomes not just short term outcomes.”

The team is also joining forces with IBM’s Watson to develop a system that can help researchers, patients, reporters and doctors sift and understand the growing body of research on the microbiome. “Human intelligence just can’t keep up with all the literature that is coming out on the microbiome, and so if we can use artificial intelligence to advance our capabilities that will make it really helpful,” Knight said.

DIY faecal transplants carry risks including HIV and hepatitis, warn experts

Faecal transplants have been used in medical settings to tackle superbugs, but following YouTube videos at home is too risky, say researchers

Links between microbes in the gut and a host of health problems have led to growing interest in the idea of faecal transplants.


Links between microbes in the gut and a host of health problems have led to growing interest in the idea of faecal transplants. Photograph: Getty Images

Concerns have been raised about the growing trend for DIY faecal transplants, with experts fearing such attempts could put individuals at an increased risk of HIV and hepatitis as well as conditions ranging from Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis to obesity and sleep disorders.

The transfer of faeces from one human to another has gained attention as a growing number of studies have suggested links between microbes in the gut and a host of health problems, from autoimmune diseases to anxiety.

Currently, implanting a “healthy” gut microbiome into a recipient is one of the treatments used in medical settings to tackle the superbug Clostridium difficile. But with some claiming the procedure could help a wide range of conditions, a plethora of YouTube videos have sprung up revealing in how to carry out faecal transplants at home.

Experts have raised concerns, stressing that screening is vital to prevent problematic microbes, including those linked to MS and Parkinson’s, from being transferred to recipients – a particular concern for those attempting a DIY procedure.

“Given that we know that these are things that in mice, at least, can be transmitted by the microbiome, it is not cause for panic yet, but it is certainly cause for concern that the same might be true in humans,” said Rob Knight, professor of paediatrics, computer science and engineering at the University of California San Diego, who is presenting his latest work on the microbiome at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin this week.

While research has long suggested that obesity could be linked to the microbiome, recent studies have suggested a host of other issues, including sleep disorders, could also be associated with changes in the gut flora. Furthermore, Knight noted that studies have revealed that there are differences in the microbiomes of those with and without conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. “[Very recently] we were able to show that you can transmit aspects of the disease from humans into mice by transmitting the microbiome,” said Knight, although he noted that a particular genetic change was needed in the mice in the case of Parkinson’s.

Currently faecal transplant is used as a treatment for Clostridium difficile infections – the goal being to reseed the gut with “good” microbes. Donors are screened for conditions including infectious diseases and parasites, while those with autoimmune diseases, a history of cancer or gastrointestinal problems are excluded as donors. However Knight stressed that with research throwing up an ever-increasing number of conditions linked to the microbiome, screening is set to become increasingly important. “Tests that look at the whole microbiome profile are still at the research stage,” he said.

The risk of inadvertently transferring either diseases or problematic microbes, he added, are even greater for individuals taking matters into their own hands – a trend Knight said is growing. “It is regrettably something that is increasing in frequency,” he said, noting that in particular those with incurable diseases are often willing to try anything, even if evidence for a procedure is scanty.

The fear that faecal transplants could give recipients more than they bargained for is underscored by a case study from 2015 in which a woman undergoing a faecal transplant for a C. difficile infection ended up becoming obese after receiving a stool sample from her healthy but overweight daughter.

Knight added that his team is currently part of a project that will “Basically capture stool from donors and recipients of faecal transplants on a national scale in the United states so we can get a sense of long term outcomes not just short term outcomes.”

The team is also joining forces with IBM’s Watson to develop a system that can help researchers, patients, reporters and doctors sift and understand the growing body of research on the microbiome. “Human intelligence just can’t keep up with all the literature that is coming out on the microbiome, and so if we can use artificial intelligence to advance our capabilities that will make it really helpful,” Knight said.