Junk food ad bans branded ‘censorship’

The laws, introduced to federal parliament yesterday by Greens leader Senator Bob Brown, would prevent commercial television broadcasting licensees broadcasting unhealthy food ads between 6 am and 9 am and between 4 pm and 9 pm on weekdays in an effort to reduce childhood obesity.

The same restrictions would also be in force between 6 am and 12 pm and between 4 pm and 9 pm on weekends and public holidays along with additional restrictions relating to online marketing of unhealthy foods directly at children.

But the Protecting Children from Junk Food Advertising (Broadcasting and Telecommunications Amendment) Bill 2011 has attracted swift criticism from the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

AFGC chief executive Kate Carnell said adverts for “high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) food products” were already not running during TV programs aimed at children younger than 12. She called for the new laws to be dismissed, like a