EU Commissioner praises industry food marketing pledge
The European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, John Dalli, today praised the EU pledge as “an important step in the right direction” at a joint meeting of the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health and the High Level Group of EU member state health representatives in Brussels. The Commissioner was speaking a day after the WFA had presented the latest EU pledge monitoring results, as well as a raft of enhanced commitments to the pledge.
The Commissioner identified the “stronger audience definition” [for commitments to cover more TV programming when children are watching] and the “increased coverage” [to company-owned websites, as well as the addition of McDonald’s to the pledge participants] as positive developments in terms of how the EU Pledge was “scaling up and changing the way [companies] advertise to children” in Europe.
Coming just two months after the UN General Assembly on Non-Communicable Diseases in New York, he considered it a “timely” occasion to review progress in light of the “ambitious goals” set by the Platform. Since 2005, the Platform has generated 312 voluntary commitments by participants, of which 133 are still ongoing. The EU pledge is one of the most high profile of these commitments.
Asked about the future of the Platform, the Commissioner intimated that a firm decision would be taken in 2012. The EU Director General for Health, Paola Testori-Coggi, claimed that the Platform was a “fundamental instrument” within the European Commission’s broader public health strategy, the evaluation of which is scheduled to finish at the end of 2013. “The Platform is clearly delivering results. The EU pledge is a clear example,” she concluded.
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