Tuesday 25th October 2022

(1 year, 9 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Winston Portrait Lord Winston (Lab)
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My Lords—

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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My Lords, if we are swift, we will have enough time for both noble Lords. We will hear from the noble Earl, Lord Leicester, and then the noble Lord, Lord Winston.

Lord Benyon Portrait Lord Benyon (Con)
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My Lords, this is absolutely vital, as was brought home to me yesterday at the reception organised by TIAH and the noble Lord, Lord Curry. Teaching people the necessary skills is vital if we are to see the average age of farmers—which is my age, 62—come right down, and we can achieve that only if they have them.

Lord Winston Portrait Lord Winston (Lab)
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My Lords, the Government say they want to protect families. Is the noble Lord fully aware of the epigenetic effects of a poor diet on literally thousands of children in hunger poverty? The Dutch winter disease, for example, showed very clearly that the long-term effects on cognitive ability and general health go right through to middle and old age. Can we be absolutely certain that the Government will do all they can to secure food, rather than worrying about some of the other aspects of the environment?

Lord Benyon Portrait Lord Benyon (Con)
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The noble Lord is absolutely right. There is ever-increasing evidence that poor diet makes individuals, particularly young people, susceptible to diseases not just while they are young but right through their lives. That is why our food strategy is not just a Defra strategy but must be across government; it relies on the expertise of people such as the noble Lord.