Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 27, 2007

Fast-food firms get more time over content display

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:55 am

Star: PUTRAJAYA: Fast-food companies are being given more time before they have to display the nutritional content of their food in large print on wrappers and on displays in their outlets.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said yesterday that the companies were being given leeway of between four and six months to inform customers of the content of the food they sold.
“We have to give them (the fast-food operators) time for the labelling because we have to verify the content. It is not easy to calculate the content of burgers,” he told reporters yesterday after attending the presentation of excellence service awards at his ministry.
“We hope it will be done between four and six months. This is education and in the end, the consumer will have to choose. We have nothing against fast food. We only want Malaysians to be educated and not just because the food is nice, we keep on eating without caring about our needs.”
Last week, the Cabinet decided that fast-food companies would be banned from sponsoring television shows for children or advertising on children’s programmes and made it compulsory for all fast-food companies to disclose the cholesterol, fat and sugar content of the food they sell on their product labels.
Dr Chua added that the ministry would continue to educate Malaysians about such food through its public health education programme and hoped that non-governmental organisations and the public would support the effort.
“Public health education is a continuous process,” he added.
On the ban, he said that relevant agencies including the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies Malaysia and fast-food companies would discuss its implementation with the ministry’s Food Safety and Quality Division.

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