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Greens to press ahead with junk food ads ban.



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Bob Brown

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

media release

24 October 2008

Greens to Press Ahead With Junk Food Ads Ban

The Australian Greens will press ahead with legislation for a total ban on junk food advertisements on children's TV, saying that a proposed new voluntary industry code does not go far enough.

Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown said The Greens' legislation would ban junk food advertisements from Australian television during children's viewing hours, and also would ban junk food ads in schools.

Senator Brown said that a voluntary code proposed today by the Australian Food and Grocery Council to restrict advertising to children aged under 12 was too broad and would be ineffective.

"The code is too broad and allows too much wriggle room for advertisers to promote foods with suspect food value."

"We will see hamburgers advertised with a focus on the lettuce they may contain - it will still advertise foods that are high in sugar and fats and that contribute to our obesity epidemic."

"The proposed code also won't cover several major fast food chains which will be left with a virtual monopoly of advertising time if this code goes ahead."

"We have seen in the recent financial crisis that we can't trust market forces to regulate themselves."

Senator Brown said that he would be pressing ahead with his legislation Protecting Children from Junk Food Advertising (Broadcasting Amendment) Bill 2008, to ban junk food advertising during children's TV viewing hours. The bill was first introduced by Democrats Senator Lyn Allison.

Senator Brown said that recent reports indicated that obesity costs the Australian community billions of dollars every year, and an advertising ban on junk food during children's TV was an important part of reducing childhood obesity.

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Further information: Russell Kelly 0438376082