Jamgate: MP Tessa Munt's crusade to preserve British jam from becoming 'French, German, American or coloured mud'
THE end of the British breakfast is nigh, warns Wells Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt, if the sugar content of British jam is reduced.
Ms Munt, of Axbridge, will be leading a half-hour debate in the House of Commons' Westminster Hall at 11am today on "Revision of Jam and Similar Products (England) Regulations 2003".
The permitted sugar level for jams, jellies and marmalades could be reduced from 60 per cent to 50 per cent. Other changes will remove the UK national limit for ‘reduced sugar jam’ and the national provisions for curds and mincemeat.
The MP has told the BBC she thinks "this is going to be the end of the British breakfast as we know it.
"If these regulations change, we'll end up with something much more like the French and German product - and worse still the Americans - where they have things a bit like a fruit butter or a fruit spread."
The debate spins out of a Defra consultation seven months ago, suggesting sugar be cut in jam from 60 per cent to 50 per cent.
The Government believes this 'slightly skinnier jam' will be easier to export and aid British business.
If the jam regulation is eventually pushed through, it would only bind England unless the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland follow suit.
Twitter seems to have leapt upon Ms Munt's jam crusade. Some comments include:
Things I did not expect today: Tessa Munt MP on @BBCr4today describing French jam as "coloured mud".
— Mark Wallace (@wallaceme) October 30, 2013
Tessa Munt, defender of 10% extra sugar in jam, please leave the liberal democrates until you say something your salary is worth paying for
— Lina B. Frank (@LinaBFrank) October 30, 2013
Tessa Munt is worried for the future of British jam. Good to see Lib Dems with their fingers on the pulse as ever.
— Chris Wills (@crispeater) October 30, 2013
Ms Munt said: "Of course there are more important things in the world than jam. But an MP is to scrutinise what Government tries to slip through without anyone noticing. This is a classic case because minister George Eustice has signed off an order."
Ms Munt said she tried to create a debate last week and hopes this morning's discussion will lead to answers like if and when the new jam rule comes into play and where Mr Eustice got his scientific evidence from.
The sticky debacle originates not in Brussels, criticised for interfering in food stuffs, but in Bristol.
The Long Ashton Agricultural Research Station in the 1920s examined the shelf life of jam and made the original suggestion sugar be reduced.
Ms Munt said: "I detest food waste. The last thing we want to produce is pots of coloured mud that does not last long.
"People are pretty queasy about ripping the top off jam and eating what's underneath."
Should the sugar in jam be cut? Or is this a nonsense debate? Vote in our poll to the side