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Fuel Protests: Stores Forced To Ration Food

Panic buyers force stores to ration food

By Valerie Elliott

SUPERMARKETS have begun to ration sales of bread, milk and sugar as food industry chiefs warned ministers of shortages by the weekend without immediate fuel supplies.

Nick Brown, Agriculture Minister, was so concerned last night that he was in negotiations with Stephen Byers, the Trade and Industry Secretary, to name food and drink suppliers as priority users for petrol. The civil contingencies committee was last night reviewing the petrol crisis and whether to implement further emergency orders naming priority petrol users.

The emergency services, hospital doctors and GPs, other nursing and homecare staff are top of the list. But services such as the Coastguard, lifeboats, airlines, food, banking, post and newspapers are to be included in any new measure. Ministers and officials are finalising a system to ensure that priority users can prove that they are eligible when turning up at forecourts.Mr Brown is also pressing for an additional list of fuel delivery points specifically for the food industry.

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