Greens welcome AMA support for regulation of junk food advertising
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today welcomed the support of the Australian Medical Association, which represents more than 27,000 doctors, for regulations to protect children from junk food advertising.
Senator Brown introduced new legislation into the Senate on Monday - the Protecting Children from Junk Food Advertising (Broadcasting and Telecommunications Amendment) Bill 2011 - as self-regulation by the industry has clearly failed.
"As AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said today, the bill addresses Australia's alarming rates of child obesity and highlights the fact that voluntary measures don't work," Senator Brown said.
The Greens' bill, set to be debated next year, would ban junk food ads on commercial television from 6-9am and 4-9 pm on weekdays and from 6am-12pm and 4-9pm on weekends and during school holidays, as well as banning junk food ads from pay-TV services aimed at children, in line with Obesity Policy Coalition recommendations. The bill also places a prohibition on using the internet and digital services such as SMS and email to promote junk food to children.
"We can't leave the health of our children to the whims and decisions of the industry that profits from the sales of junk food ... Flash advertising, especially in peak children's television viewing times, is a major contributor to unhealthy junk food choices" - Dr Hambleton, AMA President