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Labor must listen to parents on junk food

The Australian Greens have urged the Rudd Government to follow the advice of parents and health groups and restrict junk food advertising aimed at children.

Greens Health Spokesperson, Western Australian Senator Rachel Siewert said that earlier this year the Government had refused to allow a vote in the Senate on a Greens’ Protecting Children from Junk Food Advertising (Broadcasting Amendment) Bill which would have banned junk food advertising during children’s peak television viewing times and restricted junk food advertising in schools.

The Bill had been backed by health groups, including the Cancer Council and Public Health Association.

“Now a new survey has shown that the overwhelming majority of consumers, including parents, want bans on junk food advertising,” Senator Siewert said.

“It is well and truly time Government started listening to them, instead of food manufacturers on this issue. The Greens have long recognised the role that junk food advertising plays in childhood obesity and poor health outcomes.

“Obesity is fast becoming a major killer in Australia and a major burden on our health system. Meanwhile, our kids are being swamped by clever marketing, gimmicks and advertising from the youngest age.

“We need a raft of measures to combat the obesity epidemic but reining in harmful advertising and marketing ploys that specifically target our children is an important first step.

“The Greens’ Bill remains before the Senate and we will be taking every opportunity to remind Prime Minister Rudd that he can act on this issue immediately by adopting our Bill,” Senator Siewert concluded.

For more information or media inquiries, please call Eloise Dortch on 0415 507 763

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