Food advertising Bill gets voted down

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 23rd June 2009

A decision last week to vote down a Senate bill to protect children from food advertising has been welcomed by Australia’s leading organisation representing food and grocery manufacturers, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

The Greens Protecting Children from Junk Food Advertising (Broadcasting Amendment) Bill 2008 was introduced by Greens leader Bob Brown in an attempt to impose restrictions on food and beverage advertising but failed to gain the support of the major parties.

AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell applauded the decision, which she said was in line with the findings of a recent House of Representatives report Obesity in Australia, Weighing it up.

Ms Carnell said the report supported self-regulation of food advertising and recommended undertaking research into the effect of advertising and the eating behaviour of children.

“This is a topical issue but there’s very little reliable data on the links between advertising and obesity,” Ms Carnell suggested.

Ms Carnell added that undertaking research would help the industry to further increase the effectiveness of AFGC’s Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative.

So far, 16 major food and beverage manufacturers – including Nestle Australia, Coca Cola, Pepsico Australia, Sanitarium and Campbell Arnott’s – have now signed up to the initiative which came into effect on January 1 this year.