Tuesday March 6, 2007
Ministry to propose controls on fast food ads
PUTRAJAYA: In a change of heart over the idea of banning fast food advertisements, the Health Ministry says it will propose to only disallow such advertisements during TV programmes for children under 12.
The proposal would be submitted to the Cabinet, said minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
The ministry will also propose that the fast food industry displays the products' dietary content such as calories and fat.
This could be displayed either at their outlets or on the food packaging, Dr Chua told a press conference here yesterday.
“In big letterings – not in a manner where only the experts understand. It should be an educational effort. Then it would be up to the consumer to make an educated choice,” he said.
On the issue of imposing a “sin” tax on fast food, he said this would also be discussed by the Cabinet.
The ministry’s food safety and quality division director Dr Abd Rahim Mohamad will head a committee, comprising fast food industry players and ministry officials, that would submit further recommendations to the Cabinet.
Association of Accredited Advertising Agents of Malaysia president Datuk Vincent Lee said the association wanted matters to be voluntary rather than compulsory.
Banning fast food ads won’t prevent obesity, says MD