A SWEET maker and TV star who learned his trade in East Lancashire has blasted the Government for 'trying to kill off the confectionery industry'.

And Andy Baxendale, a mainstay of BBC2's The Sweet Makers, insists sweetener alternatives to sugar generally end up having a laxative effect.

The Master of Science graduate, who used to work for Stockley's and Glisten, now known as Big Bear, in Blackburn, has spoken out after public health agencies set 220 targets for reducing sugar intake, with sweets directly in the firing line.

Boiled sweets like sherbet lemons are almost entirely made up of sugar, fudge is two-thirds and even chocolate can consist of 40 to 50 per cent of the substance.

But Andy, known as The Sweet Consultant, who has also been a product manager for Chewits and is working on a National Academy for Sweets, insists sugar still has a place in modern diets. in moderation.

He said: "They’re basically going to kill the UK sweetie industry with their stupidity. The government, as usual, is pandering to the whims of the do-gooders who come up with ideas with very little scientific basis, based on spurious results, usually without all the contributing factors."

He says the health lobby is aiming to make people feel guilty about enjoying confectionery in the run-up to Christmas.

"What are parents going to fill children’s stockings with? Are we going to go back to the days of giving our children a few walnuts and a satsuma?" added Andy.

One of the major obstacles to sugar reduction, he believes, is there is no effective replacement.

He said: "Sugar free sweets have a laxative effect from the sugar replacer."