Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to rise in the House today and a introduce Senate public bill, Bill S-228, the child health protection act, which seeks to amend the Food and Drugs Act to prohibit the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children. I would like thank Olympic gold medallist Senator Nancy Greene Raine of British Columbia for her tremendous work on this issue, as well as our Senate colleagues, who unanimously passed this bill last week.
The rapidly increasing rate of childhood obesity has become a matter of national concern in Canada. The World Health Organization’s commission on ending childhood obesity found that there is unequivocal evidence that the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages has a negative impact on childhood obesity, and it recommends that any attempt to tackle childhood obesity should include a reduction in the exposure of children to marketing.
As parliamentarians, it is our duty to stand up for those who are most vulnerable in our society, and no group is more vulnerable than our children. The protection of children from the manipulative influence of marketing of unhealthy food and beverages is predicated on a pressing and substantial concern and calls for a federal legislative response.
This bill is that legislative response, and I ask all members for their support.