Health and public health community urges Senators to stand up for children and pass Bill S-228 (an act to restrict the marketing of foods to children)
The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) and 425 health and public health professionals from across Canada have signed an open letter to Senators imploring them stand up for Canada’s children and take the necessary steps so that Bill S-228 (an act to restrict the marketing of foods to children) is placed on the Senate’s priority list and voted on before the Senate adjourns on 28 June 2019.
“Bill S-228 has been studied and previously approved by both the Senate and the House of Commons,” said Ian Culbert, CPHA’s executive director. “Now is not the time to allow the wellbeing of our children to be undermined by corporate interests and partisan politics.”
According to media reports, a powerful coalition of advertisers, food processors, and retailers is waging a lobby campaign urging Senators to withhold their support from this important legislation. The bill was originally introduced by former Conservative Senator Nancy Green Raine to help fight childhood obesity.
Bill S-228 is based on evidence and is a critical component of a multi-pronged strategy to protect children’s health.
Diets high in sugar, fat and salt are now the leading risk factor for death in Canada with costs exceeding $26 billion per year. Self-regulation mechanisms by industry are insufficient and the evidence is clear that children are being targeted at an alarming rate with advertising for foods and beverages high in sugar, fat and salt.
“Bill S-228 is an unprecedented opportunity for you to have a positive impact on the health of children and on the economy by turning the tide of chronic diseases and preventing costs by the health systems associated with these illnesses,” said Culbert. “We believe in a Canada where children’s health takes precedence over corporate profit.”
The time to pass Bill S-228 is now.