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Brown introduces bill for national ban on junk food ads during kids' TV viewing hours

Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today gave notice that he will re-introduce the Democrats' Protecting Children from Junk Food Advertising (Broadcasting Amendment) Bill 2008 to ban junk food advertising during children's TV viewing hours.

"Access Economics estimates the cost of obesity to the community is $58 billion a year. Only 1 per cent of food advertising promotes healthy food. The other 99 per cent promotes fast food, soft drinks, ice cream and other junk food," Senator Brown said.

"A national ban on junk food advertising during children's TV viewing hours is a sensible first step in tackling childhood obesity. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Senator Brown said the Australian Communications and Media Authority's new children's TV advertising standards, which rule out any general restrictions on food and beverage advertising, were completely inadequate and did not reflect community standards or concerns about childhood obesity.

"The NSW Cancer Council released a study which found that food advertisers were deliberately targeting children. They also found 194 separate breaches of the Children's Television Standards code of practice, involving mainly giveaways and prizes."

"In December 2004 the Australia Institute commissioned a survey of over 1600 Australians in which 86% of respondents agreed that there should be more limits on advertising to children."

"The Rudd government should assist parents by ending its obstruction of efforts to introduce a national junk food advertising ban during children's TV viewing hours," Senator Brown said.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603

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