Draft EP report “deplores” HFSS advertising aimed at children and young people


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The European Parliament (EP) has published a draft report on “vulnerable consumers,” deploring the marketing of products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) to children and young people. The report does not have any direct, specific regulatory consequences but serves to highlight the European Parliament's priorities in terms of consumer protection.

The draft report was prepared by Spanish Socialist Maria Irigoyen Perez on behalf of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), and will be discussed and amended during a series of debates to be held in the European Parliament in the coming weeks.

In a section on “problematic sectors”, the rapporteur included the following paragraph:
“13. Deplores that advertising for food with high fat, salt and sugar content is aimed at children and young people, who increasingly suffer the consequences of sedentariness and obesity; calls on the actors involved to educate and inform minors about the importance of a balanced diet;”
The draft report will be presented to other members of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee on 28 February and is expected to be adopted by the European Parliament as a whole in July 2012.

Detailed timetable:
08/03/12: debate in IMCO Committee
24/04/12: deadline for amendments
30/05/12: adoption in IMCO Committee
July 2012: adoption in Plenary

This is a 'non-binding' report meaning it has no direct legislative consequences. However it does reflect ongoing efforts to restrict marketing to children by some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

The Responsible Advertising and Children Programme has already been in contact with the office of shadow rapporteurs, Philippe Juvin (a French member of the European People's Party) and Malcolm Harbour (a British member of the European Conservative and Reformists) in order to ensure that MEPs are aware of the EU Pledge, a voluntary initiative by leading food marketers to change how they market foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children.

For more information please contact Will Gilroy w.gilroy@wfanet.org

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