Chile Makes It Illegal to Use Toys to Market Food [POLL]
There are going to be a lot of disappointed kids screaming from the backseats of their parents’ cars in fast food drive-thrus all across Chile, as the government is cracking down on a new law making it illegal for restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC to include toys with their kids meals.
Chilean Senator Giudo Girardi filed a formal complaint with the health ministry on Wednesday that claims that these restaurants are still using toys to lure in children more than a month after a ban on these practices was put into place.
“These businesses know that this food damages the health of children and they know that the law is in effect. They’re using fraudulent and abusive means,” Girardi said.
In addition to fast food establishments, the complaint also targets manufacturers of cereal, popsicles and other products who are infamous for using toy items to sell their products.
The law was written because according to Giradi, nearly a quarter of Chile’s six-year-olds now suffer from childhood obesity.
“These corporations threatened that if the law was approved there would be no more money for children’s foundations, the sick, or athletes, but we were finally able to create a great alliance between the civil society and scientists to defeat these lobbyists,” the senator said.
In 2010, the Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a lawsuit against McDonalds for using toys to market its food to kids, but the claim for dismissed.
Last year, San Francisco banned restaurants from handing out toys with meals high in fat, salt, and sugar, but McDonalds found a way to get around the band by charging a small fee to have a toy included.
Incidentally, both US cities assisted with the creation of Chile’s new “junk food law.”