An initiative banning the sale of junk food to children is about to make history in the Oaxaca Congress, the state that ranks first in childhood obesity. Health activists welcome this legislation that will be voted on this week in plenary, but business organizations such as Coparmex and ConMéxico, the latter representing 44 companies such as Bimbo, Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Lala, rejected it and got open the discussion to forums before approval.
Mexico City, August 2 (SinEmbargo) .– The fight against obesity and diabetes arrived at Oaxaca Congresswhere a initiative what you’re trying ban the sale of sugary drinks and food with high caloric content to minors, caused the rejection of the scrap metal industry.
“With this initiative we intend to eliminate the forms of malnutrition of children and adolescents, which is why we are proposing that the sale, distribution, gift and supply to minors of sugary drinks and high calorie packaged foods be prohibited,” he said. In an interview the local Deputy Magaly López Domínguez, author of the Draft Decree in which article 20 Bis of the Law of the Rights of Girls, Boys and Adolescents of Oaxaca is added.
The initiative, which has been analyzed for a year in the Permanent Commission of Groups in Vulnerability Situations of the Oaxaca Congress, will be voted on in plenary on August 5.
– Magaly López Domínguez (@Magaly_LopezOax) July 31, 2020
“The opinion went to first reading to publicize the Law and it is intended that next August 5, a vote will be taken in plenary so that once it is voted, it will be published and become law,” said the Deputy of Morena when defending her project. “Children under the age of 15 do not measure how much the consumption of this type of food causes them, which only provide sugar.”
In Mexico, 34.4 percent of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, which places Mexicans first in the world in childhood obesity. At the state level, Oaxaca ranks second with the most obesity in adults and the first with childhood obesity, according to the Oaxaca Health Services (SSO) at the end of 2018. In contrast, some 60 thousand girls and boys from zero to five years old old suffer from malnutrition.
The Deputy of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) considered that it is the ideal time for this law to be tested. “From 2006 to 2012 obesity and overweight increased in children and more in the urban areas of Oaxaca,” she argued.
COMPANIES REJECT IT
The initiative to prohibit the sale of sugary drinks to minors was rejected by organizations in the business sector in Oaxaca such as the Employer Confederation of the Mexican Republic (Coparmex), National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (Canacintra), National Chamber of the Restaurant and Seasoned Food Industry (Canirac), National Chamber of the Baking Industry (Canainpa), National Association Of Self-Service And Departmental Stores (ANTAD), Canaco and the Mexican Council of the Consumer Products Industry, AC (With Mexico), the latter groups 44 companies as Bimbo, Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Lala.
In a statement, they indicated that as organisms they are concerned that in the State Congress “issues of direct impact for different economic sectors are processed, which are contrary to the objective of maintaining jobs and generating actions in favor of economic recovery.”
For Alejandro Sánchez, president of Coparmex Oaxaca, the initiative at this time of pandemic would affect the business sector, especially small businesses.
“We are different organizations that are concerned about the incitement of local law and we all agree that the health of children and adolescents is important, but in the economic sector, given the current economic conditions of the pandemic, it is important to consider it,” he said in interview.
After the representatives of the business organizations established their position against the initiative, the Political Coordination Board of the Oaxaca Congress agreed to hold forums to discuss the issue.
“We were in a meeting with the president of the local Jucopo, Deputy Horacio Sosa, to address the issue and they reached an agreement to open a forum to talk about it and that the opinion of the private initiative is also heard,” the president reported. of the Coparmex Oaxaca. “A law that shifts responsibility to shopkeepers and merchants is not ideal. We believe that it is a responsibility of the parents ”.
But for Deputy Magaly López, the initiative does not affect the industry because it does not prohibit the sale of products, but rather makes parents responsible.
“The opinion prohibits children from being the ones who can directly purchase sugary drink products and high-calorie foods, but they are not being prohibited from selling those products, now they are leaving the responsibility to the parents, to that they decide if they want to give these foods to their children ”, assured the Deputy. “It doesn’t affect the economy because businesses are going to continue selling those products, only now they are going to be restricted to children.”
On August 5, the Plenary of the Congress of Oaxaca will vote on the initiative of the Deputy of Morena that seeks to prohibit the sale of sugary drinks and foods with high calorie content to minors. Of the 43 legislators that make up Congress, 26 are from Morena, so the legislator hopes that the legislation will be approved.
“I hope that all the deputies are in favor of children’s health,” he confided. “I hope they vote because we are all popular representatives of the people and we have a responsibility to the children of Oaxaca and this law is to help children have better nutrition, without direct access to sugary drinks and high-calorie foods , since we know that this considerably affects health ”.
The Power of the Consumer, an organization that defends the rights of consumers, has warned on several occasions that the junk food industry has filled indigenous communities with products and are partly responsible for the high cases of diabetes and obesity.
“The delivery of Coca-Cola refrigerators to families in various populations of Chiapas is fully documented, where they are also subsidized by electric energy in exchange for marketing the soft drink,” said Alejandro Calvillo, director of the organization in an interview with However. “What has happened with Coca-Cola in these indigenous communities is terrible and the damage it has done to the population.”
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