New Delhi: The government today said that there is no proposal at present to ban advertisements promoting junk food on television, after nine major food business companies decided not to advertise products with high fat on channels meant for children.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that bodies like the Food and Beverage Alliance of India (FBIA) have already decided to voluntarily restrict food and beverage advertisements concerning children.
On whether the government proposes to impose a ban on telecast of junk food and aerated drinks advertisements on television, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani said in a written reply that "presently there is no such proposal". She went on to say that nine major food business companies have voluntarily decided not to advertise products with high fat, salt or sugar on children's channels.
While asking supplementaries, some lawmakers raised concerns about junk food affecting the health of children.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had constituted an expert group to address the issue of high fat, sugar and salt foods.
"The expert group in its report made a recommendation regarding ban on food with high fat, sugar and salt advertising on children's channels or during children shows. On this recommendation, the remarks of the FSSAI were that the food businesses could be asked to voluntarily desist from advertising high fat, sugar and salt foods on children's channels," Ms Irani said.