UK Campaigner Launches New Food Marketing Bill

19 May 2004

UK member of parliament Debra Shipley has stepped up her campaign against the marketing of unhealthy food to children with new legislation.

Shipley -- an MP for the governing Labour Party -- has introduced a private member's bill (so called because it does not originate from the government) designed to reduce children's consumption of foods with high levels of fat and salt.

The Children's Food Bill -- which is supported by 115 organisations including the Consumers' Association and the National Union of Teachers -- proposes a ban on marketing certain foods to children or selling them in school vending machines. It would also give the Food Standards Agency the power to label products according to their health benefits to children.

"It is no longer good enough to hold consultations, produce reviews and call on the industry to mend its ways. Action is urgently needed," declared Shipley. "This Bill will bring forward a wide range of measures to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic and improve children's diet-related health."

Like Shipley's previous attempts at legislation, the bill stands little chance of actually becoming law without government support. Ministers, however, have so far resisted calls for a ban on food advertising to children.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff