Materia Medica Malaysiana

February 24, 2007

RTM Will Ban Fastfood Ads If Directed By Cabinet

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:07 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 (Bernama) — Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) will immediately ban fastfood advertisements on all its radio and television stations if it is directed by the Cabinet to do so, Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin said.
He said a clarification was needed due to concerns among advertising and fastfood companies following his statement which was published in a local newspaper recently.
He said even if RTM were to immediately ban fastfood commercials on its channels, it would still honour the contracts entered into with the respective advertisers.
“I am aware that this issue would have a significant impact on the advertising industry in the country, as the fastfood sector contributes revenue by the hundreds of millions of ringgit each year.
“At the same time, the people’s health is very important and if not protected, the quality of health will drop and the government has to spend millions of ringgit to tackle the problem,” he said in a statement to Bernama here Friday.
Last year, revenue earnings from fastfood advertisements on RTM were worth more than RM11 million.
Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek had earlier proposed that fastfood commercials be banned in the media and he would bring the fastfood issue which was said to be a “silent killer”, before the Cabinet next week.
Zainuddin said if studies showed that fastfood would adversely affect the people’s health, then immediate action would be taken to protect the public.
He said the trend now was that fastfood had become part and parcel of people’s lifestyle.
“But we should not use fastfood as a way out or a symbol of modern living. As Malaysians, we have many options so as not to make fastfood a staple diet.”
Zainuddin said that besides the fastfood of large companies and those under franchise, the authorities would also have to monitor and enforce laws on fastfood ingredients that were detrimental to health, produced by small companies and unregistered businesses.
He said this was because instant ‘roti canai’, instant ‘pau’ and instant curry puffs that contain preservatives to make the food tastier and last longer, could be harmful to health.
“As such, the authorities should monitor the use of ingredients in fastfood, to ensure they comply with the permissible level.
“RTM is also prepared to give a slot for the Health Ministry to bring health and nutritional experts to inform and explain to the public on the adverse effects of such food and its contents on people’s health,” he said.

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