The second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, and the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, have jointly defended this Saturday the need to regulate food advertising aimed at children. In a ceremony held in the Catalan capital on the eve of World Food Day, they assured that the Government is “close” to completing this regulation of “little or not healthy” food advertisements.
An animal activist bursts into an act on food by Díaz, Garzón and Colau and sticks to the lectern
The vice-president has closed the institutional act ‘Live healthy, live better’ in which Garzón and Colau have also participated, and where the majority of the speakers have demanded this regulation. Díaz has said that studies by the World Health Organization show that advertising has a very obvious and harmful impact on minors and has opted to “look at the problems head-on”, while stating that the industry and lobbies opposed to advertising regulation “are powerful”.
The vice president, who has recognized that she does not eat meat, has affirmed that the decree is “necessary and fair” and has defended that citizens have the right to know what they eat, where it comes from and, above all, what effects eating entails certain types of food. He has also explained that the food crisis is one of the world’s main problems because science is warning that the prevailing food model “is not healthy for people or the planet”, and has defended that food is a mirror of the inequalities that need to be reverted.
The Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, has also defended the decree on infant food advertising, promoted by his ministry, because he considers that self-regulation by companies “does not work”, since not only have the dynamics not been corrected of childhood overweight and obesity but have aggravated them. “It is time to regulate”, Garzón has said and to “protect children” from one of the factors that most affect them, since children ask for the food they see on TV.
“There is a conflict here”, pointed out the minister, who said he understood the legitimate defense of the economic interests of large companies, “which find sensitivity even in the coalition government”, but reiterated that what matters is preserving the health of the most vulnerable, such as children. In this sense, he recalled that childhood obesity and overweight affect 40% of children between 6 and 9 years old.
The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has pointed out that the current food system is responsible for a third of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, she has opted for a paradigm shift and for “necessary debates”, such as macro-farms, reducing meat consumption or regulating advertising so as not to “bombard” children during children’s hours.
The mayor has asked the Generalitat “to make up for lost time” because she receives many complaints about food in hospital centers and from the elderly.
During the conference, the director of Food Justice, Javier Guzmán, said that the current model is “unfeasible” and advocated for food policies, for advertising regulation and for moving from an agriculture based on global markets to a delocalized agriculture that bets on for the territory and public investment.
Also the person in charge of Children’s Policies and awareness of Unicef, Roger García, has lamented that advertising conditions the consumption of unhealthy drinks and foods among children, for which he has asked for regulations to be made in this regard. “We must establish limitations on advertising to protect the rights of children,” said García.
For her part, the director of institutional relations of the Spanish Association Against Cancer, Ana Fernández, has warned about the existence of up to 13 types of cancer related to excess weight.
The act, in which some cries of “animal justice now” have been hated, has been interrupted by an environmental activist which has demanded from governments the transition towards a fair and sustainable food model based on plants, both for people and animals, while at the same time asking the Generalitat not to give aid to the livestock sector.