Wednesday, February 27, 2008

See you in court?

The High Court battle between the baby food industry on one side and the UK government and health campaigners on the other begins tomorrow and is scheduled for two days. You can come along if you can make it to London. It is open to the public. See British justice in operation.

Strictly speaking this is the battle by the industry against the English and Welsh Ministers. Last week we had the court battle in Scotland, where we are still waiting for a judgement. The court case in Northern Ireland will take place after the High Court battle.

So that's three court cases and, as you might imagine, the industry is wanting to keep us out of court. They opposed our involvement in Scotland, but we attended the case as observers to here the arguments. The issue is ostensibly about labelling. The industry thinks it should not have to comply with the labelling provisions of the 2007 Regulations until 2010. In Scotland it tried to extend this to other provisions of the Regulations, such as advertising and the case was postponed by the Judge as he asked to the industry to make up their mind.

In the UK the focus is on the labelling requirements. Again the industry is opposed to us being involved. Here, however, we have been accepted by the court as an 'interested party' in our own name and as members of the Baby Feeding Law Group and Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition. We have managed to submit written evidence and a witness statement and are very grateful to supporters for the financial support that has made this possible.

We will be able to say more as the case unfolds, but have issued a press release today with information on the grounds for the case, which links to the press release of the Food Standards Agency, and our view of why the industry is pursuing this case. See:

And watch this space!

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