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Immediate reaction: today’s vote on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) in the European Parliament’s Culture Committee fails to protect children, empower parents or encourage governments to act forcefully for a healthier marketing environment.

“The Committee has failed to appreciate the key role that unhealthy food and alcohol marketing plays in eroding children’s and adolescents’ health, undermining parents in their efforts to educate for healthy lifestyles, and endangering the financial sustainability of national health systems.

It is unfortunate that the Committee has not given due regard to public health evidence in coming to its decisions. For instance, rather than limiting health-harmful marketing during hours of  peak viewing by children, as recommended in the ENVI Committee Opinion, it encourages self-regulation as a primary tool to reduce exposure. This, despite numerous studies pointing to the ineffectiveness of self-regulation in achieving real, measurable impact.

This vote is not only a lost opportunity to create a truly ‘future-proof’ Directive in the area of audiovisual commercial communications, but also highlights the need for stronger concerted advocacy to protect the interests of Europe’s youth and future generations.”

Nikolai Pushkarev, Policy coordinator at EPHA

See also joint open letter sent to Members of the Culture and Education Committee in advance of the vote.

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