Statement on new BAI Children's Code

12 Oct, 2012. In response to the announcement by the BAI of new rules to be applied to the advertising of High Fat, Salt and Sugar (HFSS) food and drink to children, safefood has issued the following statement.

safefood welcome the announcement today by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to introduce new rules to limit the advertising of food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar to children. The introduction of content rules to commercial communications for these foods broadcast outside of children’s programmes but which are directed at children is also welcomed.

Speaking at safefood’s Advisory Board meeting in Belfast today, safefood Vice Chair Ms. Darina Allen said:

We welcome the adoption by the BAI of the ban of advertising HFSS foods to children. Anything that can be done in this area to protect the health and wellbeing of our children is to be encouraged. Unhealthy foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) can no longer be advertised during children’s programming. We would also hope that no future exemptions to these rules will be made. It is also a positive move by the BAI to apply strict content rules to commercial communications broadcast outside of children’s hours but which are aimed at children.”

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safefood participated with a number of other agencies* as a member of the Expert Working Group (EWG) in making recommendations to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Public Consultation on the advertising of food and drink to children. In making recommendations, the Group was asked to review the evidence for public health nutrition issues affecting children; assess the usefulness of a practical but scientifically-valid “tool” which would enable both the BAI and Food Industry assess the suitability of foods and drinks for advertising to children; and make recommendations in light of their work.

*The Department of Health & Children, the Health Service Executive, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland