Mexican lower house passes junk-food label law - GulfToday

Mexican lower house passes junk-food label law


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Mexico's lower house unanimously passed a bill Tuesday to make manufacturers put warning labels on junk food, defying industry pressure in a bid to protect consumers' health in one of the world's most obese countries.

The bill, which requires food packages to carry labels on the front if the contents are high in sugar, sodium or saturated fat, passed the Chamber of Deputies with 445 votes in favor and three abstentions.The bill now goes to the Senate, where it is also expected to pass, and then to leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has endorsed it.

"Despite strong resistance from the industry, we decided to push ahead... for the common good," Mario Delgado, the leader of Lopez Obrador's Morena party in the lower house, said in a statement ahead of the vote.

Nearly one-third of all adults in Mexico are obese, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), making it the second-most obese after the United States in the 36-member group of developed countries.Mexico also has one of the world's highest childhood obesity rates. Nearly one-third of Mexican children are overweight or obese.

The lobby group for Mexico's consumer products industry, ConMexico, said the measure would be counter-productive.

"This hides information. It doesn't tell you what the level of key nutrients is, how much sugar, calories, sodium or fats," said Jaime Zabludovsky, the group's executive president.

But Lopez Obrador insists the law will help lower high rates of diabetes and malnutrition.


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