Greens introduce bill targeting HFSS foods

CANBERRA – The Australian Greens political party is calling for a national television marketing ban on “junk” foods nationally and restrictions on Internet and SMS and email promotions.

The Protecting Children from Junk Food Advertising (Broadcasting and Telecommunications Amendment) Bill 2011 calls for bans on television advertisements of high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) foods from 6-9 a.m. and 4-9 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. on weekends and school holidays.

Such ads would also be banned on pay-TV services targeted at children, and restrictions would be placed on using the Internet, email and SMS to promote “junk” food to children.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has responded publically by stating that the bill amounts to censorship. For the full AFGC response, click here.

In the state of South Australia, Health Minister John Mill has also called for a ban on advertising of unhealthful foods to children, saying that industry codes – including the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative – are not working. Food Navigator has the story here.