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Waiqainabete: Protecting Children From The Harmful Impact Of Food Marketing In The Pacific

Children need to be protected from the harmful impacts of the growing food market in the western Pacific as we are vulnerable to many risk factors and non-communicable diseases, enhancing our advocacy for climate change actions.
11 Oct 2019 14:43
Waiqainabete: Protecting Children From The Harmful Impact Of Food Marketing In The Pacific
The Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon. Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.

Children need to be protected from the harmful impacts of the growing food market in the western Pacific as we are vulnerable to many risk factors and non-communicable diseases, as well as enhancing our advocacy for climate change actions.

This can be achieved through the endorsement and implementation of the Regional Action Framework on Protecting Children from the Harmful Impact of Food Marketing in the Western Pacific.

The Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete has stated Fiji’s support for the proposed Regional Action Framework on Protecting Children from the Harmful Impact of Food Marketing in the Western Pacific

He said this at the 70th WHO Western Pacific regional meeting in Manila Philippines today.

“We also note that cross-border marketing and trade is a significant challenge faced in developing regulations for our nations in the region and we invite WHO to assist member countries in developing their own regulations and policies to deal with exposure to food marketing within borders that originate in other jurisdictions”, he added.

Fiji has advanced a number of initiatives and actions to address the marketing of foods to children with the adoption of World Health Assembly resolution 63.14 on marketing of food and non-alcoholic beverages to children.

These include:

1. Undertaking consultations and drafting of Regulations on the Advertising and Promotion of Unhealthy Foods and Non Alcoholic Beverages to Children;

2. Establishing the policy on Food Safety by the Central Board of Health; and

3.Undertaking a Health Impact Assessment of the draft Regulations in 2016;

4.Multi-sectoral membership of trade committees that include members from the regulatory Food Unit based within the health ministry.

Fiji has also provided mentoring sessions to member countries within the Marketing Restrictions Technical Working Group on policy brief development and drafting of regulations.

Dr Waqainabete also highlighted that there was a need for all stakeholders to work together in terms of achieving the common goals.

Furthermore, Dr Waqainabete said food security of healthy alternatives is important and readily available.

This needs support by other government agencies such as Agriculture, and more importantly, for the Pacific, this enhances our advocacy for climate change actions.

Feedback: jennis.naidu@fijisun.com.fj

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