The health of the UK’s population could be at risk from a new government strategy to cut its CO2 emissions and focus on food.
The strategy is due to be announced on Wednesday by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and it includes restrictions on food sales and fresh produce.
It follows the introduction of a “meat and fish ban” in April.
The new policy is likely to come into force at the end of this month, and will see shops selling meat and fish banned from the supermarkets in the capital and around the country.
Food sales would also have to be limited to 2.5kg per customer.
The government is also introducing a new policy that restricts the use of artificial lighting in the evenings and weekends to protect the environment.
“These changes are part of the Government’s ambitious plan to ensure the UK is the leading carbon-neutral economy in the world,” a Government spokesman said in a statement.
It said the move would not only save the country money on energy bills, but also help improve the health of its population.
“We will continue to work closely with the public health sector, as well as the food industry, to develop strategies that will reduce our emissions and improve the quality of our food supply,” the spokesman said.
“As the UK continues to transition to a low-carbon economy, the Government will continue working closely with health and environmental groups to deliver effective, cost-effective solutions to reduce our carbon emissions.”
In the first stage of the policy, the UK will be able to restrict fresh food sales to 2kg per person a week.
On top of that, supermarkets will have to limit the use and amount of lighting used in the evening and weekends, the spokesman added.
There will also be a ban on the sale of artificial fruit and vegetables, and on artificial meat and meat products, as part of a total reduction of 3.8kg of CO2 by 2020.
The announcement comes after a government analysis showed the UK was one of the top five carbon emitters in the European Union.
A previous policy in the UK banned sales of processed meat and seafood in April, following complaints from health experts.
In a statement, the Department of Health said the government was “delighted to be leading the way on reducing the amount of carbon dioxide produced by food production”.
“We are determined to deliver a better future for our people and the planet, and we know that cutting back on waste is one of our most important responsibilities,” the statement read.
“Our policy will protect public health and our economy, while also helping us meet the UK Government’s climate change targets and ensure the sustainability of our economy.”