TRADITIONAL sweets could be forced off shelves as a result of a nanny state blitz on sugar, campaigners say.
Sherbet lemons and liquorice allsorts are among those said to be at risk.
Public Health England said in March 2017 it wanted sweets to average no more than 48.4 per cent sugar by 2020. But classic boiled sweets are almost entirely sugar.
The Institute of Economic Affairs warned the voluntary guidelines will make it “impossible” for some of Britain’s most popular treats to exist.
It called the plans “the largest extension of state control over the British diet since rationing”. They found public health agencies have set 220 goals to cut salt and sugar in food in the past two years.
Sherbet lemons and Parma Violets are almost entirely sugar, while jelly babies, liquorice allsorts and fudge are typically two thirds sugar.
Attempts have been made to develop lower-sugar versions but they often vary in taste. Sugar reduction targets were set on instructions from Theresa May’s government.
Tim Rycroft, of the Food and Drink Federation, said: “If you change recipes and people don’t like it they won’t buy it.”
Duncan Selbie, PHE chief exec, said: “Taking calories, salt and sugar out of food we eat is part of the Government’s child obesity plan and strongly supported by parents.”