Heart and Stroke Foundation concerned about future of bill to fight childhood obesity
Published Friday, November 30, 2018 7:49PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 3, 2018 10:29AM EST
The Trudeau government has promised to fight childhood obesity by restricting food and beverage marketing to children under the age of 13.
The bill has made it to a third reading in the Senate, but there are now concerns the bill could be jeopardy.
The legislation currently before the Senate proposes a ban on advertising food and beverages to children and teenagers during television timeslots when they're likely to be watching.
Research suggests it has an impact on obesity rates and consumption of junk food.
Quebec was ahead of the curve, implementing similar rules 36 years ago. Now, however, players in the food industry argue the restrictions are so limiting, it amounts to a ban on marketing by also keeping them away from adult audiences.
Those concerns are now being raised in the Senate to the dismay of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
“This is an irony, because the bill had been proposed by the Senate, has been studied by the House of Commons and went back to the Senate. But now, because of the lobbying by the industry, people are encouraged by them, and they prefer to put it on hiatus for the moment,” said Kevin Bilodeau for the Heart of Stroke Foundation.
Bilodeau said referring the bill back to a committee will ensure it won't be passed before the next federal election, less than a year from now, and so the Heart and Stroke Foundation is turning up the pressure on its end.
Watch the video for the full interview with Kevin Bilodeau.