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Nordzucker Post 2/2023 - 24 May 2023

Minister Özdemir focuses on food advertising bans for children

The draft of the German Minister of Nutrition, Cem Özdemir, for a law to protect children from advertising of foods with high sugar, fat or salt content (Kinder-Lebensmittel-Werbegesetz – KWG) aims at banning food advertising to a large extent.

Advertising for these products should no longer be possible between 6:00 and 23:00.

The proposed ban list would thus include a very large number of different products such as cheese and jam, yoghurt and canned fruit, butter and pretzels, muesli and filled pasta, ice cream and soft drinks, chocolate and sausages, all of which would be subject to the criteria of excessive sugar, fat or salt content.

Sponsorships, for example for sports clubs and events, would also be covered by the law and could be made more difficult or banned altogether. However, it is precisely the sports clubs in our country that encourage children and young people to exercise more and eat a more balanced diet.

In an expert opinion, the constitutional law expert Professor Dr. Martin Burgi (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich) attests to the BMEL’s unprecedented approach by excluding the advertising of products whose production and distribution is permitted and which, as such, are not dangerous to health or life. The draft bill submitted by Minister Özdemir for departmental approval provides for massive restrictions of communication and economic freedoms, but lacks the necessary scientific basis.

The Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE) and the German Food Association (Lebensmittelverband Deutschland e.V.) oppose this “paternalism” and have initiated the campaign
www.lieber-mündig.de. The association also sees the draft law as a hindrance to innovations if information about them can no longer be provided through advertising.

One thing is clear: advertising bans cannot prevent childhood obesity. Education and information in parental homes, childcare centres and schools about a healthy lifestyle and a balanced calorie intake is essential.

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