Ultimatum from the Minister of Consumption to try to illuminate the most important project in his portfolio in the remainder of the legislature. Alberto Garzón gives the PSOE one month to unblock the Ministry of Agriculture's veto of the Royal Decree on advertising unhealthy food and beverages aimed at children.
Specifically, according to Consumption sources, the minister of United We Can has warned his partners in the socialist area of the Government that this royal decree, which is the only major project in his portfolio for the remainder of the legislature, has to be unlocked on March 31.
From the ministry they explain that it is the deadline for the regulatory project to be approved during this legislature, since, after the unblocking, the text must necessarily pass through Brussels and obtain the endorsement of the Council of State, among other procedures, before to be approved by the Council of Ministers.
For Garzón, this Royal Decree is a priority objective. As EL MUNDO advanced, the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, with the support of the economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, has paralyzed a project that the Minister of Consumption has prepared since 2021 for months.
The "Royal Decree for the regulation and control of the advertising of food and beverages with a high fat, sugar and salt content aimed at children", pursues the objective of "establishing standards relating to the advertising of food and beverages aimed at minors" for " protect their rights and reduce exposure to advertising" of certain foods, "thus contributing to the reduction of childhood obesity rates and guaranteeing the right to health of girls and boys".
In July 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture transferred to the Ministry of Consumption a report against the project in which it defended the self-regulation mechanisms of companies and questioned the prohibitions and restrictive measures raised in the text. In addition, he defended the advertising for children of certain sugary foods such as ice creams, due to their calcium content, or juices, as they could be considered as part of the recommended daily pieces of fruit.
For its part, at the end of September, the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) issued a report in which it reminded the Ministry of Consumer Affairs "of the legal obligation to exhaust self-regulation options before limiting commercial communication." And he urged him to "strengthen the specification of the standard" to guarantee legal certainty for operators, to "take into account the powers of the regional audiovisual regulatory authorities" and to "strengthen the justification" for which it is prohibited to advertise certain foods ".
Since then, the norm has remained in the drawer. But now, Minister Garzón, partially reinstated to activity in the Ministry from his paternity leave, is going to redouble his efforts during the month of March, according to the sources consulted. In the coming days, he even plans to raise the issue of the veto to the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, who has supported this regulation within the framework of the National Strategic Plan for the Reduction of Childhood Obesity 2022-2030.
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